Lawrence Fuchs

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Lawrence H. Fuchs
Born(1927-01-29)January 29, 1927
DiedMarch 17, 2013(2013-03-17) (aged 86)
Alma materNew York University, Harvard University
Known forAmerican immigration law
Spouse(s)Natalie Rogers (1950-1970), Betty Corcoran Fuchs (1970-2012)
ChildrenJanet Fuchs, Frances Fuchs, Naomi Fuchs, Carole Hooven, Michael Hooven, Fred Hooven, John Hooven
Scientific career
FieldsAmerican studies
InstitutionsBrandeis University, Peace Corps, Carter administration
Thesis (1955)
InfluencedRob Portman

Lawrence H. Fuchs (29 January 1927 ‒ 17 March 2013) was a scholar of American studies and an expert on immigration policy. He was an author and university professor who founded the American studies department at Brandeis University, where he was the Meyer and Walter Jaffe Professor of American Civilization and Politics.[1][3]

Early career[edit]

Fuchs served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a medic. He began teaching at Harvard University in 1952 before finishing his doctorate there in 1955. He then began teaching at Brandeis in 1955.[1][3]

Teaching at Brandeis[edit]

Fuchs founded the American Studies department at Brandeis in 1970.[4] He chaired the department for 25 years. Among his courses was a seminar on American politics that he co-taught with Eleanor Roosevelt, who was a visiting professor at the time.[1]

Outside the university[edit]

From 1961 until 1963, Fuchs was the first Peace Corps director in the Philippines. He later wrote a book, Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character, about his experiences with the Peace Corps. Fuchs later founded the Commonwealth Service Corps in Massachusetts, a domestic service organization similar to the Peace Corps.[4]

In 1979, Fuchs worked as the Executive Director of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy in the Carter administration. His efforts led to signing and passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and later the Immigration Act of 1990. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was the first major U.S. immigration reform enacted since 1965 and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.[4] In 1990 Fuchs served as vice chairman of the United States Commission on Immigration Reform, a congressional advisory board. In 1997, the commission recommended increased policing of employers that hire illegal immigrants: a proposal that as of 2013 continues to be contested.


Fuchs married Natalie Rogers in 1950. They had three daughters together. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1970. That same year, Fuchs married Betty Corcoran Fuchs, who had one daughter and three sons from a previous marriage.[5] Betty Fuchs died in 2012.[3]

Partial bibliography[edit]

Fuchs wrote over 10 books, The American Kaleidoscope being his seminal work.[4]


  • Political Behavior of American Jews (1955)
  • Hawaii Pono: A Social History (1961)
  • John F. Kennedy and American Catholicism (1967)
  • Those Peculiar Americans: The Peace Corps and American National Character (1968)
  • American Ethnic Politics (1968)
  • Family Matters: Why the American Family is in Trouble (1973)
  • Black in White America, principal scholar (1974)
  • The American Experiment, principal scholar (1981)
  • The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture (1991)
  • Hawaii Pono = Hawaii the Excellent: An Ethnic and Political History (1992)
  • Beyond Patriarchy: Jewish Fathers and Families (2000).

Co-authored works[edit]

  • Should United States Immigration Policy be Changed? AEI forums monograph, with Michael Novak (1987)

Journal articles and additional publications[edit]

  • Trends and pressures in contemporary Jewish family life (1978)
  • When to Count by Race: Affirmative Action, Quotas and Equal Opportunity (1986)


  1. ^ a b c d Martin, Douglas (6 April 2013). "Lawrence Fuchs, Expert on Immigration, Dies at 86". New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  2. ^ Nathan, David E. (21 March 2013). "Faculty, alumni remember Prof. Lawrence Fuchs". Brandeis Now. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Marquard, Bryan (7 April 2013). "Lawrence Fuchs; professor crafted immigration law changes". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d McNeely, Magie. "Fuchs, Lawrence H. | Brandeis University". Archives & Special Collections Finding Aids. Brandeis University. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Betty Corcoran Fuchs '53, former Antioch Trustee". Boston Globe. Boston, MA. 24 October 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2013. Alt URL