Hugh Bone, former political science professor, dies at 85

Hugh A. Bone, a former UW political science professor known nationally for his scholarship and throughout campus for his warm teaching style, died Feb. 5. He was 85.

His students and admirers include former Sen. Dan Evans, ’48, ’49, and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, ’63, ’68, as well as numerous state legislators, legislative staff and congressional aides.

“He was a very practical, sensible individual who understood the reality of American politics,” said Dicks, who had Bone for several classes. John Carlson, ’81, a columnist for the Seattle Times, said Bone’s classes, especially his first one during his freshman year, “rekindled my interest in both politics and scholarship.” He added, “Hugh Bone passed away knowing that his words, writings and example helped many a young man and woman find the success that may have otherwise eluded them.”

One of Bone’s many legacies is the Washington State Legislative Internship Program, which he started in 1956. He supervised generations of UW interns who worked for lawmakers during the legislative session. Bone’s program became a national model.

Although he retired in 1979 at the age of 70, Bone directed interns and remained an active member of the University community until his death.

Born and raised in Illinois, Bone started out teaching high school history. When he was fired for supporting Social Security, the World Court and the League of Nations, he enrolled in graduate school at Wisconsin and later earned a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern in 1937. He taught at Northwestern and Maryland before coming to the UW in 1948.

A delegate to both the Democratic and Republican state party conventions in 1952, Bone lectured throughout the United States and wrote several books, including American Politics and the Party System and Smear Politics: Analysis of 1940 Campaign Literature.

He chaired the UW political science department from 1959 to 1969. When he retired in 1979, both houses of the Legislature issued commendatory proclamations.

Friends and former students may send memorial gifts to the Hugh A. Bone Scholarship, c/o UW Alumni/Donor Information Systems, 4534 11th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA 98105.