GCC History Professor Patrick Griffin Dies at 76


TEACHING HISTORY: Professor Patrick Griffin teaches students at GCC in 2011.

Kristine Tuzon, Staff Writer

History professor Patrick Griffin, creator and editor of the scholarly journal “The History Teacher” and winner of numerous prestigious awards, died at home on April 20. He was 76.

“The History Teacher,” is a journal full of descriptive, enthusiastic ideas that go into teaching history.

Griffin was an innovator in integrating media and history. His film work was celebrated by CBS as “One of the Best Ever 25 Shows,” and the Los Angeles Times called his work “Show of the Week” on five different occasions.

He wrote and produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries, including episodes for “Nova,” “Frontline” and his own national series.

Former colleague Francis Gladstone worked with Griffin on seven films. He said Griffin was the best colleague he ever had.

“For Patrick, the true interpretation of history and presentation of the record to the public was a passionately held moral responsibility,” Gladstone said.

His achievements included a Fulbright Fellowship, a 1986 Gold Award at the Cine Golden Eagle Film & Video Competition for the film “Black Olympians 1904-1984: Athletes and Social Change in America,” four Emmy nominations, USIA Achievement Award of Distinction and two CSU Chancellor Grants for Innovative Education.

Griffin started teaching at GCC in 1999.

History professor Victor Nebrida worked with Griffin at GCC and Pasadena City College. Nebrida said he remembers his colleague’s passion for teaching.

“I always felt dignified in his presence. He was a very knowledgeable teacher,” Nebrida said. “His classroom walls would usually be full of posters and Xerox copies of historical figures and faces. He knew the effects of images, pictures and movies in teaching history. That was his background, his life.”

Student Rachel Melikian took Griffin’s class this semester. She was saddened by his death.

“You can’t find another teacher with his brilliance,” Melikian said.

Griffin taught history 109 and history 133 this semester.

Social science division chair and psychology professor Michael Dulay said, “Our dear colleague Patrick, who brought history to life for the world and for his students, will be missed.”

Griffin is survived by his wife and daughter.

Kevin Mack is substituting for history 109 and Roger Bowerman took over Griffin’s history 133.