Mayer was a generous and personable human. I remember his warmth and sincerity, whether talking to his peers or graduate students, from his times at McCarthy Award events. What a career, and what a legacy. Adieu!
Rory McVeigh, Chair of the Sociology Department at Notre Dame, noted as much in this announcement to a university listserve:
I just received word that Mayer Zald passed away this morning after suffering a massive heart attack a couple of days ago. As many of you know, Mayer had an extraordinary career as a leading scholar in research on social movements and organizations. He was also a great friend of Notre Dame Sociology. He is a recipient of our McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award and has attended McCarthy Award ceremonies on campus several times. There are thousands of stories out there about how Mayer reached out to a young scholar completely out of the blue to offer congratulations on an article or to provide advice or encouragement. Even at his advanced age, he was extraordinarily active and productive. Only a few months ago he was enthusiastically telling me about an article he was working on with young colleagues at the University of Michigan charting out future directions in social movement research. He was truly one of a kind.
– Video of Mayer Zald, talking about his academic career
– Jeff Goodwin’s note on the Collective Behavior list-serve