Professor Emeritus George Carbone passes away
Author: Victor C. Dahl
Posted: February 15, 2013

IN MEMORIAM: George Anthony Carbone (May 16, l917 – January 3, 2013)

Emeritus Professor of History George A. Carbone, born May 16, 1917, in Napa, California, died January 3, 2013, in Lake Oswego. No memorial service will be held.

In 1961, Dr. Carbone joined PSU’s burgeoning History Department, thereby adding an instructional dimension to its curricular offerings that attracted substantial undergraduate and graduate student enrollments. While interacting with the campus study abroad committee, and utilizing private financial assistance to defray initial expenses, in 1962-63 he negotiated an agreement with the University of Pavia to establish a formal on-site Italian Studies Center for the Oregon State System of Higher Education, an effort that mirrored similar developments on a nationwide basis. He carefully worked out appropriate student support arrangements.

Prior to the program’s scheduled inauguration in September 1963, Dr. Carbone—whose talents and experience were valuable in the Cold War era—received a private foundation grant to be based in Rome for five years in order to coordinate an array of research organizations. Under those circumstances, during the ensuing years while residing in Rome he provided supervisorial guidance to OSSHE Pavia Center directors selected from Oregon institutions. In 1968, Dr. Carbone returned to the PSU and resumed an active on-campus teaching and research career.

In 1970, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, named Dr. Carbone to serve as Honorary Vice Consul in Portland for two decades enabling him to render extensive assistance to Oregon’s Italian community and various local businesses; indeed, it provided a unique and valuable PSU community outreach. That nation’s government in 1976 further honored his meritorious service at ceremonies in San Francisco and Rome that conferred Knighthood in the Order of Merit ofr the Italian Republic.

Dr. Carbone earned a B.A. (1939), M.A. (1942), and Ph.D. (1947) degrees in history from the University of California, Berkeley. His focus was on the Kingdom of Italy’s formation during the 19th century. From 1942-1945, he worked in various wartime industries, while concurrently serving as an instructor and continuing doctoral studies at UC Berkeley. During 1945-1946, he held a history instructional appointment at Harvard while pursuing advanced research under mentorship of Professor Gaetano Salvemini—a longtime anti-Fascist refugee Italian resistance leader—who served at that institution from 1930 to 1948.

In 1946, Dr. Carbone launched his academic career with an associate professor appointment at the University of Mississippi in Oxford where he taught modern European history courses and directed many graduate student degree programs. His ongoing research undertakings into Italy’s national unification led to appointments as Fulbright Research Scholar and Professor at the Universities of Milan (1949-50) and Turin (1955-56), as well as to sponsorship of lectures delivered at the World Congress of Historians (Rome, 1955) and at the Universities of Pavia, Naples, and Bari. Concurrently, he published juried articles for various Italian and English language historical journals. In 1949 he advanced to professorial rank.

While enrolled at Berkeley, George and Marguerite Roadani married in 1940. To this union, twins, Edward and Karen, were born. Edward died in 1989 and “Meg” died in 2000. His survivors are Dr. Karen C. Hatch, emeritus professor at California State University, Chico, who resides in Colusa; three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Community service featured prominently in Dr. Carbone’s worldview. In Oregon—and in Mississippi—he was often in demand as a public speaker for educational and service organizations. Dr. Carbone and Meg generously contributed their efforts to local Italo-American organizations’ activities, notably for “Cultura d’Italia” and the Renaissance Ball. As a long time “bookish” person, Dr. Carbone gathered an extensive collection of 1300 volumes and pamphlets dealing with Italian and European diplomatic history, most of which he contributed to PSU’s Millar Library. In retirement Dr. Carbone worked as a volunteer at the Tigard public library.

Remembrances may be made to the Edward Carbone Oncology Library of the Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, Tualatin, Ore, or to a favorite library. Dr. Carbone’s energetic efforts for promoting international studies on-campus and abroad contributed significantly to the PSU’s emergence as an instructional and research-based institution. All of us owe a lasting debt of gratitude to him for his accomplishments. (Victor C. Dahl, Professor Emeritus of History, February 14, 2013.)