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Mark Curtis; UCLA Professor, Head of National College Group


Mark H. Curtis, former UCLA professor and president of Scripps College at Claremont who went on to serve as president of the Assn. of American Colleges and Universities, has died. He was 74.

Curtis died of a heart ailment Sept. 12 in a Washington hospital after he was stricken at his home in Bethesda, Md.

He served as president of Scripps from 1964 to 1976. Curtis taught history at UCLA from 1953 until he moved to Scripps. From 1962 to 1964, he was also associate dean of the UCLA graduate division.

Curtis headed the national college group from 1978 until his retirement in 1985. Among other tasks, he supervised studies of college costs and the career value of a college degree.

As a teacher, he specialized in the history of the English Renaissance. His books included "Oxford and Cambridge in Transition, 1558-1642" and "Education in Shakespeare's England."

A native of Minnesota, Curtis grew up in Iowa and studied European history at Yale University, where he earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. He served in the Navy during World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander.

Curtis began his teaching career at Williams College before moving to Los Angeles to teach at UCLA.

Curtis' first wife, Maria, died in 1990 after 45 years of marriage. The educator is survived by his second wife, Katherine; two children, Kate and Tom; three stepchildren, Christina, Christian and Craig Lund; a brother, James, and a sister, Cora.

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