Former students and colleagues remember Professor Emeritus George W. Ridge Jr., director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism from 1973-78 and 1985-91, and a former Arizona Daily Star city editor and Arizona assistant attorney general. He died April 24, 2019, at 86. (Many of the testimonials are from Facebook.). Click here to read his obit.
Morgan Loew, 1996 grad
"Professor Ridge was a terrific department head and a driving force for some important student-led journalism at the UofA. I was lucky to be in the program while he was at the helm."
Lynne Olson, 1969 grad
"One of the greats. A spectacular teacher and a dear friend."
Professor Mort Rosenblum
“George Ridge taught me journalism when that word was universally respected — a calling with ethics and tenets, not for hobbyists. In the mid-'60s, George was my city editor at the Arizona Daily Star, ruthless with hard facts, full of ideas, and attuned to ‘human angles’ that connected readers to real news that mattered. When I edited the (International Herald) Trib in Paris, George brought me back (to the UA School of Journalism) for brief courses for students eager to cover the world for themselves. George was a loyal, lifelong friend, a wonderful family man, and we’ll all miss him terribly.”
Deborah Whitaker, 1979 grad, daughter of George Ridge
"He was a mentor to many students who went on to make their own marks as journalists,” Whitaker said. “He also was an innovator who was always ready to assist and support other journalism professors with their initiatives.”
Professor Emeritus Jacqueline E. Sharkey, 1972 grad and former school director
“George had a deep understanding of the role of the press from his work as a journalist and an attorney, and focused on ensuring the school’s curriculum reflected the challenges and opportunities that students would encounter in the real world."
Susan Cormier, daughter of late school Director Donald W. Carson
"So sorry to hear this news. George was such an inspiration, always living life to the fullest. I will never forget how he led the way on some great travel adventures shared by the Carson and Ridge families. Deepest condolences to the entire Ridge family."
Professor Emeritus James W. Johnson
"George had an infectious laugh, and he loved a good laugh. He was one of the best teachers the department has had — and that includes some very good teachers."
Rebecca Cook, 1984 grad
"I had Professor Ridge for both First Amendment Law and Features/Travel Writing. He was an excellent teacher and an even better human being. I loved his no-BS approach mixed with a dose of good humor. My deepest sympathies to his family and close friends."
John D'Anna, 1982 grad
I remember being in his class when Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. He deadpanned that he used to share an office with her at the Arizona Attorney General's office. Now he said, she'll get her own office, while he still had to look at our ugly mugs every day. RIP, George. I really learned a lot from you.
Anne Holliday Abbott, 1976 grad
"One of the best teachers I've ever had. Rest in peace George. Job well done."
Tremaine Jasper, 1995 grad
"My first journalism professor! I believe it was a Beginning Writing course in 1991. He was tough but he was the perfect introduction to a great journalism education at the University of Arizona. My condolences to his family and colleagues."
Javier Morales, AllSportsTucson.com
More sad news for UA journalism students. I was fortunate to have Prof. Ridge for some of my classes. Unbelievably, in the last couple of years, we have also lost Prof. Carson, Prof. Patten and Prof. Lucas. Mr. Carson was a family friend, close to my father (both were esteemed Tucson High graduates). All of the recently deceased journalism professors impacted many who are trying to keep their work in journalism alive in an ever-changing technological world that has adversely affected journalists and editors. Thankful for their guidance.
Susan Dawson, 1995 grad
"Loved him and learned so much in Law of the Press. RIP."
Carol Daniels Boley, 1972 grad
"I had Law and Ethics of the Press with him in the early 70s. I learned a lot from him and still remember some of his stories."
H Darr Beiser, 1976 grad
"Sad news. He was a great professor, mentor and friend."
"He was my journalism ethics and libel professor in the early 1980s. Good guy, and like most journalists, never dull."
A.J. Flick, 1983 grad
"Deepest condolences to Prof. Ridge's family. He was my advisor at the j-school, one of the best teachers I ever had, a gentleman, bon vivant and fine human being. He leaves the world a better place than he entered it and had a great impact on many lives. Rest in peace, sir."
Rich Robertson, former Arizona Republic reporter/editor
"One of the great journalism educators. I learned a lot from him and I didn’t even go to the UofA. RIP."
William Murray, 1980 grad
"He was my journalism ethics professor. One of the best courses offered at the UofA."
Kristy Hickson-Gerke, 1993 grad
"My first J-school class in ‘88 was with Professor Ridge. My condolences to his family."
Jeff Davis, 1990 grad
"He taught my first journalism class at the UA. Rest In Peace."
"Great journalism instructor at UofA, truly enjoyed his classes and encouraging critical and analytical thinking."
Jim Dyer, 1984
He was my favorite instructor . God speed Mr. Ridge.
Gabrielle Fimbres Gonzales, 1985
"So sorry to hear the news. Professor Ridge was my very first journalism teacher. Much love to his family."
"I'm so sorry to see this. George was a fine professor and a good man."
Judy Nichols, 1982 grad
"So sorry to hear. He was one of my favorite professors of all time. Sending love to his family and friends."
Nicole Greason, 1988 grad
"The best journalism class I ever took, Law and Ethics, was taught by Prof. Ridge. I loved it and got an A. Thanks Prof. Ridge, bless you and RIP."
Brian Ballou, 1990 grad
"Had his ethics class, condolences to his family."
Laura Laughlin, 1979 grad