David Horowitz '59 1937-2019

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February 22, 2019


This year on Valentine’s Day, Bradley University lost one of its most illustrious and dedicated alumni when David C. Horowitz, class of 1959, passed away at the age of 81. His death is a profound personal loss to his family and friends who loved him. It is also a loss of global dimensions. David’s professional life was a world-wide convergence of teaching, informing, creating, and advocating.

David Horowitz spent his entire academic and professional life bringing honor to Bradley University. As one of Bradley’s most distinguished graduates, he is recognized around the world for his achievements as a journalist and consumer advocate. In fact, David practically invented consumer advocacy broadcasting with his long-running Emmy Award winning “Fight Back! With David Horowitz” television series, his syndicated newspaper columns, radio features, numerous TV appearances, and with his unique problem-solving internet website www.fightback.com. He spent his career bringing the facts to American consumers. Through television, radio, books, lectures, magazine and newspaper columns, testimony before government bodies, consulting with international corporations, supporting ballot propositions and personal appearances, he helped educate and energize millions of people to “fight back” for their rights. He was also dedicated to guiding young people toward careers as consumer affairs professionals in business, government, politics, and journalism though his non-profit Fight Back! Foundation for Consumer Education.

As a journalist, David Horowitz was at the center of broadcast news for over fifty years, reporting major breaking stories for NBC and CBS from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Vietnam where he opened the NBC Saigon news bureau in 1963. David also earned a reputation for courageous reporting in dire circumstances, including the 1971 Lost Angeles earthquake and a situation in which he was held hostage live on KNBC-TV in Los Angeles by a gun-wielding mental patient in 1989. The “gun” turned out to be a toy but led to the beginning of an international campaign to mark look-alike weapons and toys so they can be easily identified.

David was honored with fifteen Emmy Awards and more than four hundred awards from governmental leaders and citizens groups.

David always said that his career as a journalist was a direct line from his 6th grade teacher Lucy Perry in New York City who made him editor of the PS 84 Student Newspaper to the late great legendary Bradley Professor Paul Snider who taught David the uncompromising ethics and discipline of professional journalism. Since he graduated from BU with high honors in 1959, David never stopped giving back to Bradley. He made countless trips back to campus to lecture, mentor, inspire, and advise generations of up-and-coming journalists and advocates. He endowed a major scholarship in his name. He hosted two decades of annual Slane College Expedition classes led by his colleague and close friend, award-winning professor Dr. Ron Koperski. And he provided many Bradley Communication majors with internships at the renowned Los Angeles headquarters of Fight Back! In recognition of his world-class achievements in journalism and consumer advocacy and of his passionate commitment to Bradley, the University awarded him every official honor it has to give including Distinguished Alumnus, Centurion, and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. The Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts was particularly proud in 2004 to name the main lecture hall in the Caterpillar Global Communication Center as the David C. Horowitz Auditorium. More than one million students, faculty, scholars, professional guests, and patrons have since attended the many classes, lectures, performances, and special events in the space everybody knows as the Horowitz Auditorium. Those edifying activities experienced by all those people in that amazing space are an ongoing and fitting tribute to the legacy and living memory of David Horowitz.

David is survived by his wife Suzanne, his two daughters Tori and Amanda, and two grandchildren.