MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dr. Irving Fang was a journalism professor at the University of Minnesota for nearly four decades. Anyone who met him knows education was a big part of his Life Story.
“He always saw education as something that couldn’t be taken away from you, and it was something that could provide you with freedom and opportunity in your life,” his daughter and a fellow college professor Daisy Pallant said.
Before he started teaching, Fang wrote for newspapers across the country. He also traveled the world as a researcher and producer for ABC News. It was Irving Fang’s love of politics that helped his career reach new heights.
“When I run into former students of his, they always speak of him being their favorite teacher, or the one who helped them get to where they are now,” Pallant said.
From his own success to his work training a new generation of journalists, Irving Fang’s daughters have many reasons to be proud of their Dad.
He even wrote several textbooks about how to write, and the history and the transformation of communication.
“He would craft and work on a sentence until it was just right,” Pallant said. “I think he passed that on to his students as well, that it can always get a little bit better.”
During the late 1960s, Irving Fang was a manager of the political unit of ABC News, leading the network in its election night coverage during major campaigns.
His daughters say he put his expertise in analyzing data to work, convincing his colleagues to use computer technology to predict which candidates would win key races.
“So he said to ABC, ‘If you use computers, you can put in all this information that is valuable info from different districts, and out will come a prediction. And if we do it right, we will be able to beat the other two networks,'” Pallant explained.
Irving Fang’s daughters say as intense as he was about writing and researching, he loved being a Dad.
“I remember very clearly, if we were to walk into his study, he would stop what he was doing, turn his chair and say, ‘What’s up?'” Pallant said. “And that presence he gave — that attention — to me is the greatest gift.”
Irving Fang was 87 years old. The family says to honor him, they’re asking people to donate to any organization that helps children read.