Professor Emeritus Arthur Siegel helped shape York’s communications program

Professor Emeritus Arthur Siegel of the Communication Studies Program in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies died on Wednesday, April 7, in Toronto.

A leading scholar in the field of politics and media communications policy in Canada, Prof. Siegel was instrumental in shaping York University’s Communication Studies Program. His writings and teachings contributed widely to our current understanding of censorship, press freedoms and referenda.

Left: Prof. Arthur Siegel

Prior to arriving at York University in 1976, Prof. Siegel was a successful journalist and wrote for Time magazine, Life magazine and Sports Illustrated, to name just a few. He also spent years working as a writer and commentator for Radio Canada International.

Prof. Siegel’s family fled Germany on the eve of the Second World War, and he grew up in Trinidad. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley, Georgetown University and the Heidelberg University and completed his PhD at McGill University. His doctoral thesis compared English and French newspaper coverage of the 1970 FLQ Crisis.

Prof. Siegel was a devoted and dynamic teacher, colleague and a friend to many at York University. Over the course of his 34-year career, Prof. Seigel taught thousands of York students. He was an exuberant, colourful and inspired member of the University community and he always encouraged his students to aim high. He brought wisdom and laughter to York University and he will be missed by his many colleagues in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, his students and the alumni of the Communication Studies Program.

Prof. Siegel also worked tirelessly as a fundraiser for Toronto’s Baycrest Centre, where he was chair of the Honour Roll and chair of the Men’s Executive Service Group. He served as Editorial Advisory Board chair of the Jewish Tribune, and, at the time of his death, was on the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University. He was also former president of Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University. For several years Prof. Siegel was the chair of the Board of Directors for the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE).

Prof. Siegel leaves his wife Mireille, three daughters (Ariane, Alisa and Maura) and six grandchildren.

Funeral services take place today at 11:30am at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Ave. West. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his memory be made to a favourite charity.

In memory of Prof. Siegel, the York University flag will fly at half-mast from sunrise today until 1pm on Saturday. Condolences and memories may be sent by e-mail to Alisa Siegel at