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William Gamson

William Anthony Gamson died peacefully in his sleep on March 23, 2021 (10 Nissan 5781) in Brookline, MA at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife and partner of 65 years, Zelda Finkelstein Gamson; his sister Mary Edda Gamson of Oakland, CA; his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Steve of Newton, MA; his son Joshua and son-in-law Richard of Oakland, MA; and grandchildren Gilad, Ari, Maya, Reba, and Madeleine. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Bill was educated at Antioch College and the University of Michigan and taught at Harvard, University of Michigan, and Boston College. He and Zelda lived for many years on Martha’s Vineyard. Bill will be remembered for his distinguished career as a values-driven sociologist of social movements and media; the many influential books and articles he wrote; the simulation games he invented, including SIMSOC; his creation of a fantasy baseball league that became the seed for the fantasy sports industry; the generations of students he mentored; his passion for playing, fomenting social change, collaborating, and dancing; and his love for and pride in his family.

A recording of the funeral service can be found here.

Condolences may be sent to: Zelda Gamson, 1501 Beacon Street, Apt. 601, Brookline, Mass. 02446. Donations in his memory can be made to: ACLU of MA, 211 Congress Street, Boston MA, 02110; National Resources Defense Council, P.O. Box 1830, Merrifield, VA 22116; or Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104.


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