Friday, March 23, 2007

RIP Albert Baez

(this from the Chicago Sun-Times website)

Professor, father of Joan Baez

March 23, 2007
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Albert V. Baez, father of folk singers Joan Baez and the late Mimi Farina, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Mr. Baez died of natural causes at an elder-care facility, the San Mateo County coroner's office said.

''Whether known as 'professor,' 'Al,' 'Abo' or 'Popsy,' he was known above all as a warm and gentle person,'' the Baez family said in a statement. ''In all aspects of his life, he combined personal and professional roles as scientist, environmentalist, teacher and humanitarian. In doing so, he nurtured and conveyed values representing mankind at its best.''

Born in Puebla, Mexico, and reared in New York City, Mr. Baez was a distinguished academic with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Drew University, a master's in math from Syracuse University and a doctorate in physics from Stanford University. He taught physics at several universities, including Stanford.

In 1951, he worked for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, moving with his family to Iraq, where he directed the UNESCO mission there and worked as a professor of physics at Baghdad University.

A Quaker, Mr. Baez was an active supporter of Bread & Roses, a nonprofit that brings free entertainment to hospitals, youth facilities, prisons and other institutions.

The group was founded by Farina, who died of cancer in 2001. AP

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