Hawaii Green Party founder dies


POSTED: Monday, June 22, 2009


Ira Rohter, a long-time University of Hawaii political scientist and founder of the Hawaii Green Party, died this morning at Kaiser Hospital, according to University of Hawaii associates. He was 69.

Rohter had been ill after returning from a camping trip according to Neal Milner, University of Hawaii Ombudsman and a UH political science associate.

Rohter earned a doctorate from Michigan State University and joined the University of Hawaii in 1968. He was well-known for teaching courses in both the politics of Hawaii and ecology of Hawaii. 

“I’m personally very saddened to hear of Ira’s death,” said Hawaii Democratic Party chairman Brian Schatz. “He was a progressive thinker who was passionate about making Hawaii a better place. I always looked forward to being a guest speaker in his classroom — he pushed his students to think beyond the pages of the text and into the real-world implications of political action. He understood the need for Hawaii to achieve economic and environmental sustainability and made it his mission to build a new generation of political activists.”

Rohter also served as president of Hawaii Clean Elections and vice president of the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. Rohter is survived by a wife and two children.