Professor Cantori fought courageously against serious illness during the last four years of his life. Late last year he delivered a synopsis of his then-ongoing work on Islam and conservatism at a seminar at IIIT. Given the choice of being on the phone or attending in person, he chose to drive a long distance to attend in person. He was a frequent presence at IIIT events and always a probing voice of great intellectual depth.
Dr. Louis J. Cantori obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in political science, and studied Islamic philosophy in the Faculty of Theology, al-Azhar University.
He was the author or editor of several books, including Local Politics and Development in the Middle East, and about fifty articles, including Modernization and Development in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, and Civil Society, Liberalism and the Corporatist Alternative in the Middle East in Middle East Studies Association Bulletin (1997). He also worked on co-editing Muslim Thought in the 20th Century.
During his long academic and professional career, Professor Louis Cantroi served as president of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, held distinguished professorships at the US Military Academy, West Point, the US Air Force Academy and the US Marine Corps University, and was Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the US Department of State, and Adjunct Professor at the US Marine Command and Staff College and at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He also served as adviser to Dr. Taha Jabir al-Alwani, president of Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, then in Leesburg, Virginia.
“He very much enjoyed working with IIIT, helping to promote a better understanding of Islam and the Islamic world,” says Ms. Miranda C. Cantori, granddaughter of Dr. Louis J. Cantori, in a letter to IIIT. She adds that her passion for the Middle East and Islamic thought was mainly due to his influence, and that she hopes one day to pursue the same type of career that he had “although no one could ever replace him in this field.”Professor Cantori will be greatly missed by friends and colleagues at IIIT.