University mourns the loss of Dr. Athan Theoharis, professor emeritus and notable chronicler of F.B.I. abuses

The university mourns the loss of Dr. Athan Theoharis, widely-known American historian, professor of history emeritus at Marquette and a Wisconsin Academy Fellow. Athan passed away at the age of 84 from pneumonia.

Athan joined Marquette in 1969 and taught until his retirement in 2006. In addition to an impressive teaching career, he was noteworthy as an expert on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), J. Edgar Hoover and U.S. intelligence agencies. Athan wrote various popular books on these topics. In 2002 he received Marquette’s Haggerty Award for Excellence in Research.

Athan was honored with a special tribute in the New York Times, “Beginning in the mid-1970s, Professor Theoharis deftly used Freedom of Information Act requests to pry open the F.B.I.’s deep well of secrets, including the extent to which Hoover compiled damning information on public officials and his cooperation with Senator Joseph McCarthy’s campaign against people he accused of being Communists.” Read the full tribute online. 

He was also featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Donations can be made in Athan’s honor to the ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation. Sign the guest book at Funeral details are not posted at this time, check the obituary page for updates.