Salzburg Global Mourns the Death of George W Pitcher

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Jan 25, 2018
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Mourns the Death of George W Pitcher

Author, professor and Salzburg Global supporter passed away on January 12 aged 92 George W Pitcher showed his support for Salzburg Global through the Edward T. Cone Foundation

Salzburg Global Seminar is sad to learn George W. Pitcher, a dedicated supporter of our organization has passed away at the age of 92.

Pitcher died peacefully at his home in Princeton on January 12. In addition to being a successful author, Pitcher was known for being an “accomplished pianist,” “a treasured friend and mentor,” and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University. He authored The Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Berkeley, Theory of Perception, and the memoir The Dogs Who Came to Stay.

He joined the Department of Philosophy at Princeton University in 1956 as a faculty member. He taught there until his retirement in 1982. Before arriving at Princeton, Pitcher studied at the U.S Naval Academy, Harvard University, and Oxford University. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1947, he was commissioned as a lieutenant and served three years’ active duty. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War.

Pitcher was the life partner of Edward T. Cone for almost 50 years. The two are described as having “shared a love of classical music, opera, art, travel, and their dogs Lupa, Remus, Cinder, Beata, and Carla.” From 1992 until his death, Pitcher served as a trustee of the Edward T. Cone Foundation.

Salzburg Global is extremely grateful for the long-standing support it has received from the Foundation. Since 1992, the Foundation has provided funding for Salzburg Global’s culture and the arts program.

At last year’s Board of Directors Weekend, which took place in June, a special concert was held commemorating the centennial of Edward T. Cone’s birth. Cone, an esteemed music scholar, pianist, and composer, first served as a faculty member at Salzburg Global in 1953, during the General Session in American Studies. He subsequently served as a faculty member for two more sessions. He joined Salzburg Global’s Board in 1964 and served for more than 15 years.

Following Cone’s death in 2004, Pitcher continued to show his support for Salzburg Global through the Foundation and remained interested in activities and programs which took place.

T. Randolph Harris, chair of Salzburg Global’s Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts, and co-trustee of the Edward T. Cone Foundation, said, “As a trustee of the Edward T. Cone Foundation, George derived great satisfaction from the contribution to the world of arts and culture made by the annual Cone sessions supported by the Foundation for the last 25 years.”

Salzburg Global President and CEO Stephen Salyer said, "George Pitcher was devoted to his partner, composer, and former Salzburg Global Director Ed Cone, and through him to the Seminar's arts and culture work.  A distinguished philosopher, George followed our work with keen interest and was warmly disposed toward supporting it generously through the Edward T. Cone Foundation, a legacy that is ongoing.  His circle of friends, in Princeton and across the world, will miss him profoundly.  Salzburg Global will carry forward the humanistic traditions both Ed Cone and George Pitcher personified."

Susanna Seidl-Fox, Program Director of Culture and the Arts, said: “The Cone Foundation's ongoing, generous support has enabled more than one thousand artists, scholars, and cultural actors from all corners of the globe to come together in Salzburg to reflect on both the intrinsic value as well as the transformative power of the arts and humanities. Salzburg Global and its Culture, Arts, and Society Fellows remain deeply indebted to George Pitcher and the Cone Foundation for recognizing and fostering the essential role of the arts and humanities in all our societies."

To read Princeton University's tribute to Pitcher, please click here.