Melvin A. Kahn, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus Melvin A. Kahn, 92, Wichita State University Professor of Political Science for over 50 years, died Wednesday, September 13, 2023.

Graveside Service will be at 11:00 am, Monday, September 18, 2023, at Old Mission Cemetery.

Preceded in death by his mother, Hannah Kahn; wife, H. Joan Kahn; daughter, Miriam Sichel.

Survived by his dear friend, Julie Tretbar; daughter, Sharonah “Shari” Beth (Dr. Bruce) Greenberg of Chicago, IL; son, David (Carol) Kahn of Houston, TX; brother, Daniel Kahn of Yakima, WA; grandchildren, Aaron (Jenn) Greenberg, Jordan (Lauren) Greenberg, Hannah Kahn, Mara Greenberg, Ryan Kahn, Jacob Sichel, Adam Sichel, Ethan Sichel; son-in-law, Larry Sichel of Raleigh, NC; great-grandchildren, Benjamin “Benji” Greenberg, Leah Rose Greenberg.

Melvin had a long and illustrious career, during which time he received many honors and accolades. Most notably, he received the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, the WSU Mortar Board Teaching Recognition Award in 2012, the WSU Academy of Excellence Teaching Award in 2007, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education – Carnegie Foundation Kansas Professor of the Year in 1989, and the Regents’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, WSU, in 1982. He also published two books throughout his career: The Politics of American Labor: The Indiana Microcosm in 1970 and The Winning Ticket: Daley, The Machine, and Illinois Politics in 1984.

Melvin was actively involved in supporting the Democratic Party. In 2000 he was a Delegate at the Democratic National Convention and in 2004 he was a member of the Platform Committee at the Democratic National Convention. During elections, he gave many talks and appeared in over 190 newspaper, radio, and TV interviews dating back to 1985. He was also a political analyst for KMUW-FM from 1988-2008.

Outside of the classroom, Melvin served his community in many different areas. From 1970-1972 he was a member of the Urban Planning Board, a part of the Wichita Housing Subcommittee. In 1982 he received the “Good Apple Award for Outstanding Service” from Wichita Public Schools. Melvin was also a member of the Wichita Downtown Lions Club from 1978-present, including serving as President from 2011-2012 and receiving the Lion of the Year award in both 1982 and 1994.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established with Circle of Friends c/o Larksfield Place, 7373 E. 29th St. N., Wichita, KS 67226.

Services in care of Downing & Lahey Mortuary – East Chapel.

(link to obituary)

Mel Kahn video

Alexander Hamilton at the Wichita Pachyderm Club
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, portrayed by Wichita State political science professor Mel Kahn, paid a visit to the Wichita Pachyderm Club on April 25, 2014. (link to YouTube)

Mel Kahn audio recordings

Pachyderm Club 2009-06-19 (link to file or play below)

Pachyderm Club 2010-11-05 (link to file or play below)

Pachyderm Club 2011-10-04 as John Locke (link to file or play below)

Pachyderm Club 2013-01-25 as Plato (link to file or play below)

Pachyderm Club 2018-11-09 (link to file or play below)