Noumoff, S. J. (Samuel Joseph), 1935-2014

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Noumoff, S. J. (Samuel Joseph), 1935-2014

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Samuel (Sam) Joseph Noumoff was born on November 14, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Louis Noumoff and Tillie Cohen. After completing his Bachelor of Arts in 1956 at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, he attended University of New York (NYU) where he earned his M.A. in 1965. In the late 1950s, Noumoff was drafted into the United States Army, and was stationed in Europe where he met Francesca Wuest de Wellberg Esterhazy. He was honorably discharged in 1965, and then married Francesca in New York, in 1966. He subsequently moved to Canada where he spent a year as Lecturer at the University of New Brunswick, then joined the Department of Political Science at McGill University in 1967 as an Associate Professor. He was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. In the early 1970s he travelled to Vietnam several times and wrote about the war, including contributions to two antiwar volumes and multiple papers, talks and newspaper articles. While teaching at McGill, Dr. Noumoff continued to work on his PhD which was conferred by NYU in 1975.

In 1971, he was part of the first Canadian delegation to enter China after the normalization of diplomatic relations. Over the next 30 years Dr. Noumoff made regular return visits, including seven cross-China lecture tours. Throughout the 1970s he taught courses in political theory and comparative politics. Aside from offering a radical perspective on the comparative politics of East Asia, Dr. Noumoff introduced students to Marxist political theory and offered a course, called Comparative Revolution. Dr. Noumoff had a profound understanding of modern Chinese politics and a passion for the protection of the oppressed. He became an authority on politics in China, Japan and the Koreas, and maintained relationships with organisations and movements all over South East Asia, Cuba, El Salvador and across Latin America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, India, Malaysia and Palestine. In 1999, Dr. Noumoff was appointed Economic Development Advisor to two of Chong Qing’s (Sichuan Province) sub-cities (Fuling and Jiulongpo).

At McGill, Dr. Noumoff helped to organize East Asian studies, was instrumental in the creation of the Center for East Asian Studies, and served as its Director. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he also served as Director of the Center for Developing Area Studies, which was the beginning of the current McGill Institute for the Study of International Development (MISID). Dr. Noumoff was a strong supporter of the internship program in the Faculty of Arts and was involved in the writing of the first grant proposal to the Québec government. All of these initiatives yielded enduring benefits for McGill. Dr. Noumoff was also a longstanding member of the McGill University Senate, where he represented the Faculty of Arts, and served on the Board of Governors. Noumoff was known for his protection of due process across the university, his encouragement of transparency in university governance, the protection of academic freedom and faculty and student welfare, and his defence and promotion of the importance of a progressive liberal arts education at McGill. Dr. Noumoff wrote some two hundred articles and papers, many unpublished or published in difficult to access journals in the developing world.

Until his retirement in 2006, Noumoff seemed a fixture at McGill with a distinguished 40-year career as teacher, mentor and researcher. He passed away in November of 2014 shortly after the death of his wife Francesca.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places