John Philip Dawson, Charles Stebbins Fairchild Professor of Law [Emeritus., died Saturday at Stillman Infirmary at the age of 83 after a protracted illness.
Dawson's friends and colleagues expressed sadness over his death.
"John Dawson was a stalwart on the faculty from the time he joined it in 1957," said James Vorenberg, Dean of the Law School. "He was a fine teacher, a highly respected scholar and a wise and warm colleague who played a central role in the life of the school," Vorenberg said.
"He was in my view the ideal law professor," said Judge Benjamin Kaplan of Boston, a close friend of Dawson.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dawson attended the University of Michigan both as an undergraduate and a graduate student. He also earned a degree from Oxford.
Dawson was also active in Michigan state politics, and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1950 and 1952.
However, his main accomplishments lie in the field of teaching. Dawson began his career as an instructor at the University of Michigan Law School in 1927. Thirty years later, he joined Harvard Law School where he taught courses ranging from restitution to legal history.