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Dwaine Marvick

Professor of Political Science, Emeritus

Los Angeles




Dwaine Marvick, one of the first advocates and practitioners of computer applications to political data, died of complications from a stroke on February 25, 1999. He was 76. Dwaine joined the Political Science Department at UCLA in 1954 and became professor emeritus in 1995. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth Marvick and two sons, Louis and Andrew Marvick.


Dwaine was born in Northwood, Iowa on May 22, 1923. All four of his grandparents were children of mid-nineteenth century Norwegian immigrants. After having attended Norwood public schools where he won prizes as a scholar, a baritone and a horn player, he entered Iowa State University in 1941. In 1943, Dwaine was drafted into the army where he won a sharp-shooting medal and trained to be a policeman, hospital administrator and Chinese-speaking cavalry officer. He was discharged in 1946 as a corporal and returned to Iowa State University to finish his degree in political science.


In 1947, Dwaine entered Columbia University on a Lydia Roberts fellowship for Iowan scholars. At Columbia, he worked with many notable figures such as Paul Hazard, Franz Neumann, Robert Morton, and David Truman. He completed his Ph.D. in 1950.


As a scholar, Dwaine conducted research projects into attitudes and activities at several levels of politics in California, West Africa, India and Germany. His dissertation, a behavioral study of Congressional appropriations subcommittees, earned him a Carnegie fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute of Human Relations, where he wrote monographs on the federal bureaucracy and (with Morris Janowitz) on voter attitudes and democracy. Over the course of his career, he published many articles on the motivations of voters and party activities, some in collaboration with colleagues including Samuel Eldersveld, Charles Nixon, Mattei Dogan and John Petrocik. He held various posts on academic and professional committees, including the American and the International Political Science Associations, the National Science Foundation, and the Committee on Academic Science of APSA for encouraging women in the profession.