Daniel, who would go on to serve as the associate chair of the department, liked to watch baseball, play tennis, and travel far from Lincoln Center, where he worked for three decades and lived just two blocks away.
He was known to keep track of his students’ progress well after they left the classroom, said Ramona White, a close friend.
“He was a great mentor, even after they moved on he’d want to know how they were doing and how they advanced in their field,” said White.
Described as quiet and unassuming by family and colleagues, Daniel worked as a journalist in his native Barbados before immigrating to New York in 1966. He left behind a family of five sisters and eight brothers who were raised in the Exclusive Brethren religion. Once in New York, he moved on from the evangelical religion and delved into his studies, said his brother Lemuel Daniel.
“He was always a quiet fellow, he didn’t do much talking, but he was really committed to his objectives,” said Lemuel. “We all very happy for him here in Barbados when he graduated.”
While taking night classes at Fordham he worked at restaurants before he eventually landed a desk job at the Barbados Consulate. Mary Burke, Ph.D., senior lecturer of economics, was a classmate at the time. She said that Daniel “suffered bitterly” from the New York winters, but rarely complained.
“If he had a hard life, he never complained about it,” she said. “He just went about his day.”
Edward Dowling, S.J., professor of economics, taught him. He said that despite Daniel’s quiet demeanor, he kept the “conversation moving” in class.
“He was an excellent student, very pleasant and generous,” said Father Dowling.
Daniel’s academic interests focused on development economics and international trade. He traveled extensively to developing nations and remained engaged with underserved communities of color throughout his life. In New York, he was also involved with the West Indian communities in Brooklyn.
“He was committed to causes, advocating for their rights people of color to be recognized—he was a crusader,” said Lemuel Daniel. “He had no compunction of going to Times Square or another state to march or protest.”
According to his brother and White, Daniel had a lifelong habit of sending small donations on a monthly basis to children in developing nations, sometimes sponsoring as many as ten children at a time. As with his students, he followed up on the donations through correspondence to track their progress.
“He had a passion for the underdog and he got to know some of the children through letters,” White said.
Though few of his colleagues knew about Daniel’s philanthropic endeavors, it came as no surprise.
“He never spoke about that to me, but I don’t find it as a shock, that fit his personality,” said Burke.