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A Message from Dean Kevin R. Johnson

News Posted on April 27, 2011

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that our dear friend and colleague, Professor Keith Aoki, passed away on April 26.

A private, humble person, Keith fought this illness over the last year.  He is known to his colleagues, students, and staff as a caring and gentle -- and brilliant-- individual.  King Hall will never be quite the same without him.  I spent a few hours with Keith earlier today, knowing that he had been buoyed in his last days by the outpouring of flowers and cards from the King Hall community.

Keith earned a B.F.A. degree from Wayne State, M.A. in Fine Arts from Hunter College, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.  He came to us from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he was the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law.  He also taught at Lewis & Clark, Columbia, and Boston College.

Keith served as visiting professor in 2006 and joined the UC Davis School of Law faculty in 2007, and fit in as though he had been here for decades.  His father's family is originally from Yolo County, where many of his relatives continue to live, work, and farm.

Professor Keith Aoki was an accomplished and respected scholar in civil rights, critical race theory, intellectual property, and local government law.  Keith is a member of the American Law Institute.  His legal comic books were featured on the cover of March 31, 2011 issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.  Keith has published in the law reviews of Stanford, California, and many other excellent law schools.

Keith leaves his loving wife, Mona, and their 9-year-old twin daughters, Rachel and Sarah.  The family is setting up college accounts for them and donations will be possible.

Keith has touched our community in a special way, and he will be greatly missed.  We will let the community know of any services or memorials as details become available.

Kevin Johnson Signature

Kevin R. Johnson
UC Davis School of Law