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Saint Peter’s College Community Mourns Donald Cannon, Ph.D.

On April 3, 2010, Donald J. Cannon, Ph.D., professor of history at Saint Peter’s College, passed away at the age of 73. Dr. Cannon received his Ph.D. from Fordham University, and joined the faculty at the College in 1965. His elective offerings reflected his wide ranging interests, including subjects such as the American West, U.S. foreign relations, historical geography, civilization and disease and the American city. The history of firefighting, for which he was a noted expert, remained his greatest intellectual passion. Dr. Cannon’s interest was not simply academic: he participated as a Yonkers, New York volunteer firefighter and as Honorary Deputy Chief of the New York City Fire Department. In recent years he switched his volunteering efforts to first aid as a certified EMT and as a member of an ambulance squad in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

Dr. Cannon was also an adjunct fire science professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. At John Jay, he taught a course entitled "Fire in New York," which traced the history of fire and firefighting in New York City. Dr. Cannon is perhaps best known for his classic book, Heritage of Flames, published in 1977. In the book, he traced the history of firefighting in America from the 17th century through the beginning of the 19th century. He most recently authored the chapter on fire service history in the newly released Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II.

Don leaves a wife, Delia Murphy Cannon, and a son, Peter Murphy Cannon. Delia Murphy Cannon also has a strong connection to Saint Peter’s. For many years she offered courses in the evening as an adjunct in the business department. Peter Murphy Cannon participated as a student in the College’s summer scholars program and is now studying at Cook College, Rutgers, with plans to become a veterinarian. Like his father, he has become a certified EMT for Glen Ridge.

A memorial Mass will be held for Dr. Cannon on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, in McIntyre Lounge at Saint Peter’s College. If you would like to make a gift to Saint Peter’s College in honor of Dr. Cannon, please click here. The Glen Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Squad is also accepting gifts in his memory.<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";}@page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;}div.Section1 {page:Section1;}–