Sad News: Legislation Scholar Norman Singer has Died

Peter Strauss passes along the obituary:


Norman J. Singer, 78, died on October 31, 2016. He was Professor Emeritus of Law and Anthropology at the University of Alabama, and for 40 years held full tenured professorships in both departments, though he was proud that he never took salary or benefits from Arts and Sciences.

Professor Singer had a wide-ranging international career as well. After graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, he worked for a year in Stockholm. A trip through Russia and into Iran introduced him to the Middle East. He returned to the States, graduated summa cum laude from Boston University Law School, and in 1964 joined the Peace Corps with his wife, the former Bethany Wasserman. They spent four years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where Prof. Singer was a member of the first law faculty in Ethiopia and where two sons were born. Prof. Singer joined the University of Alabama Law School in 1971 and in 1975 received the SJD from Harvard, with an anthropological/legal dissertation on traditional legal systems in Ethiopia.

While teaching full time at UA, Prof. Singer also fitted in numerous projects in countries as diverse as Albania, Cambodia, Croatia, Egypt, Fiji, Iraq, Trinidad, and Zanzibar. He became known as a major expert in restructuring land tenure in countries with poorly-organized or non-existent private land systems. He also took leave from the University to spend 1980-82 as the Ford Foundation Res.Rep. in the Sudan.

Prof. Singer may be best known in the legal world as the author of a treatise, Sutherland, Statutory Construction. In recent years, he has shared authorship with his eldest son, Shambie J.D. Singer.

He was born in Boston to the late Morris and Anna C. Singer. His first marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Anna Jacobs Singer, sons Shambie, Jeremy (Nicole) and Micah (Ali), stepdaughters Joanna Jacobs and Stephanie Jacobs, special children Ejvis Lamani, and Anil and Aron Mujumdar, grandchildren Sofia, Avery, and Zeke Singer, and sister Helen Silverstein.

There will be a graveside service at Evergreen Cemetery on Wednesday, Oct 2, at 2 pm.


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