Bogdan Denitch 1929-2016

The Socialist International remembers Bogdan Denitch, co-founder and Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, and long time comrade and friend of the International, who has sadly passed away.

Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Bogdan Denitch moved with his family to the United States in 1946, where he joined the Socialist Party of America’s youth wing, the Young People’s Socialist League, and became active in unions and rights organisation’s NAACP and CORE.

As a student, Denitch was motivated by social studies, democracy and politics and he spent a number of years in Yugoslavia researching in this field. Bogdan Denitch became emeritus professor of political sociology at CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College, and a leading scholar of Eastern European politics. He taught at universities internationally, including Yale, the University of London, the University of Paris, John Hopkins University in Bologna and the University of Zagreb. He authored and co authored a number of books on politics and social democracy, and edited a number of political journals.

In 1982, Denitch co-founded the Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, with Michael Harrington, and became the representative of the DSA to the Socialist International. Attending many meetings of the International, he was well known in our global family for his commitment to its work. He devoted much of his life to the support of social rights and freedoms, in particular in the countries of the Yugoslav break up where he established the Transition to Democracy in 1991, an NGO that promoted human rights in the face of overwhelming nationalism. In this endeavour he brought together human rights activists, trade unionists, opposition journalists from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia and other countries in the region at annual conferences.

The Socialist International mourns the loss of Bogdan Denitch and pays tribute to his memory. Our thoughts and condolences today are with his family, friends and comrades.