LAWRENCE, Kan. — Burdett Loomis, a longtime University of Kansas political scientist, a frequently quoted commentator and author, co-author or editor of more than a dozen books on politics, has died. He was 76.
Loomis died Saturday at his Lawrence home, surrounded by family, according a notice posted online by a local funeral home. He recently had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Kansas Public Radio reported.
Known as "Bird," Loomis became a highly visible analyst of state politics during his more than 40 years at the University of Kansas, and he wrote regular columns after his retirement. He also was remembered as a student mentor.
He joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1979 as an assistant professor after working at Knox College in western Illinois. He was twice chairman of the University of Kansas' Political Science Department and served as interim director of the institute of politcs there named for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole from 1997 to 2001.
He also was director of administrative communication for Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2005.
The books he wrote or co-wrote include "Republic on Trial," a 2002 defense of representative democracy, "The Sound of Money," a 1999 examination of how special interest spending influences Congress.