Edward Nicholas Muller III

Edward Nicholas Muller III

Died June 3, 1995

Ned entered Yale from Blair Academy. A member of Morse College, he was a Scholar of the House and chairman of the Yale Literary Magazine our senior year. Aspiring to be a writer, Ned attended the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa after graduating from Yale. He switched to political science, earning an M.A. in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1971. After seven years at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Ned moved to the University of Arizona in 1977 and was promoted to professor in 1979.

At the University of Arizona Ned’s research focused on the impact of unequal income distribution on democratic governments. He published over 50 articles in the American Political Science Review, the American Sociological Review and other professional publications. His first book, Aggressive Political Participation, was published in 1979.

In his essay for our 25th reunion class book, Ned wrote that he and his family “have all enjoyed living in Tucson for the last 12 years and have become quite partial to the casual, outdoorsoriented Western lifestyle. We have an eight-acre mini-ranch (Vista Farm) that is conveniently located some ten miles from downtown Tucson and within a mile of the Saguaro National Monument with extensive hiking and horsebackriding trails. We have four Arabian horses (and) spend much of our free time working with them.” Ned’s daughter, Alexandra, described her father as “One of those people who loved to get up in the morning and go to work.” She said his routine was to wake up before 5 a.m. to walk his dogs and feed his horses. Typically, he would arrive at the University by 7 a.m. After work he would return home in the late afternoon to ride his horses.”

On June 2, 1995, following that routine, Ned was fatally injured in a horse-riding accident. According to the Tucson Citizen, a neighbor discovered Ned around 8 p.m. after seeing his horse, Tradewinds, return riderless to his home. Suffering from severe head injuries, Ned was flown to Tucson Medical Center and died early the next morning.

“He loved horses,” Alexandra said. “He always said he wanted to ride horses forever. He died doing the thing he loved to do. I’m sure he had a great ride before the accident.”

At the time of his death, Ned was chairman of the Political Science Department at the University of Arizona. A fellow professor, Jerrold Rusk, hailed him as “a nationally, indeed internationally, known scholar for his research, and he was an excellent department head.” Professor John Garcia said that, as department head, Ned had made significant efforts to decrease class sizes and increase student/teacher interaction. Others cited Ned’s “boundless enthusiasm” that motivated both his students and his colleagues.

Ned is survived by his wife, Peggy, a son Edward IV (Nick), and daughters Sarah and Alexandra.

Hugh Levick remembers: Inspired by Joe Lieberman in October, 1963, with Pete Andrews , Kenneth Klotz and Jonathan Middlebrook I went to Hattiesburg, MS to work on a mock election. The white population was not happy to see us there. We showed that if allowed there would be 30,000 rather than 300 black people voting in and around Hattiesburg.
When I returned to New Haven, I found out that Melba was pregnant. She came down to New Haven from Boston to discuss how we were going to proceed. It was a Saturday. It was Saturday, November 22nd, 1963.
Ned Muller and his wife, Maddie, became close friends of ours during the last two years of my time at Yale.