Arthur N. Holcombe '06, professor of Government emeritus, died on Friday at the age of 93.
Holcombe helped establish the Government Department in 1910. He taught until his retirement from the post of Eaton Professor of the Science of Government in 1955.
He specialized in American government, especially the Congress, but he taught, at one time or another, every course offered by the department, except for International Law.
In his 1933 book, "The New Party Politics," Holcombe was one of the first political scientists to recognize a shift from rural to urban in the emphasis of American politics.
Holcombe's ideal for the United States was Aristotle's Polity. "He viewed politics as a moral endeavor," Samuel H. Beer, the present Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, said yesterday. "He had a great deal of restrained moral passion."
In "The Middle Class in American Politics" and "Our More Perfect Union" Holcombe discusses the role of class structure in U.S. politics.
A New England Yankee with a strong affection for Harvard, Holcombe took his Ph.D. in economics here in 1909. He marched at Commencement every year until two years ago. "He was a Republican, but also a progressive New England reformer," Beer said.
Holcombe served as President of the American Political Science Association in 1936. After retiring from Harvard, he chaired a Commission to study the Organization of Peace, a part of the American Association for the United Nations, until 1964.