Fordham University mourns the death of Professor Emeritus Edward McGonagle, a member of the School of Law faculty for 42 years. From 1964 to 2006, McGonagle taught courses in decedents’ estates, trusts, land use, future interests and administrative law. He was elevated to Faculty Emeritus in 2007.
Fordham Law Dean William Michael Treanor said he used to turn to McGonagle for advice when he began teaching at Fordham, and recalled him quoting to his classes the Quaker saying, “Be present where you are.” His life, Treanor said, was a testament to the power of that philosophy, which calls on us to treasure each moment of life as a gift and to treasure the presence of those around us.
“Ed was a superb teacher who combined deep knowledge of his subjects with a gentle wit, and he made the most complex courses accessible and enjoyable,” Treanor said. “Ed was extraordinarily thoughtful and decent to all those he came into contact with—an example for all. All of us who knew him will miss him greatly.”
McGonagle earned an A.B. cum laude from Princeton College, an M.A. in Literature from Yale University, an LL.B. from Boston College Law School, and an LL.M. from Harvard University. He also pursued graduate work at the Sorbonne and the University of Heidelberg.
In addition to his studies, McGonagle served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, taught at Duquesne University Law School for six years, and was a teaching fellow at Harvard immediately before he joined Fordham Law.