Madison - William Andrews Hachten, 93, passed away on May 15, 2018 at Hebron Oaks Nursing Home in Madison.
Bill was born November 30, 1924 in Wichita, Kansas to George C. and Emma Andrews Hachten and grew up Huntington Park, California.
From early childhood he was involved with football - first as a player and later as a fan and critic of the sport. He attended Stanford University on a football scholarship but played there for just one year before joining the Marine Corps. The Marine V-12 program sent him to UC Berkeley where he played guard on the 1943 and 1944 teams. After the war, he played one more season at Stanford before graduating with a degree in journalism in 1947. He was then drafted by the New York Giants and played as a guard for one season before a knee injury sidelined him permanently.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from July 1943 to April 1946. After finishing the Marine V-12 program, he trained at Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, and Quantico, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1945.
For over a decade after the war, Bill worked as a professional journalist for several daily newspapers in southern California. In 1950, he took a six-month bicycle tour of ten European nations with a college friend that whetted his life-long love of international journalism and travel.
In 1952, he married Harva Sprager, a journalist and writer who shared his love of travel and collaborated with him on numerous projects. Their 54 year marriage ended with her death in April 2006.
After earning a master's degree in journalism from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, he joined the School of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960. His first book, The Supreme Court on Freedom of the Press, received the 1968 Delta Sigma Chi award for research on journalism.
In 1963, he became a member of the university's new African Studies Program. Over the next three decades, he conducted research and taught workshops in more than a dozen African nations, and published numerous articles and books on African mass communications, including the groundbreaking Muffled Drums: The News Media in Africa. In 1972-73 he received a Fulbright grant to establish a School of Journalism at the University of Ghana.
After thirty years as a professor, and three years as the School's director, Bill retired in 1989. But he continued his scholarly work, publishing several new books and continuing to update his popular textbook The World News Prism (the 9th edition, co-authored with James F. Scotton, appeared in 2015). He delved into genealogical research and wrote several family memoirs while also keeping up with current events as a faithful daily reader of The New York Times. And fall weekends were, of course, devoted to football, especially the Green Bay Packers.
But most of all, he devoted himself to his family - daughters Elizabeth Hachten and Marianne (Jim) Cotter; grandsons Samuel (Kimberly) Ferguson Cotter, Carl (Brianna) Cotter, and Nikita Nenashev; and great-granddaughters Amelia and Hannah Cotter. We are all grateful for his presence in our lives and we will miss him very much.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at the Resurrection Chapel of Oakwood Village University Woods, 6205 Mineral Point Road in Madison. Rev. Michael Schuler of First Unitarian Society will officiate. A visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. Burial will take place at Forest Hill Cemetery following the service. Cress Funeral Home is assisting the family.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Diana Choles, the staff at Oakwood, and Agrace Hospice for their excellent care. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to Oakwood Foundation, Inc. or Agrace Foundation.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
but am proud to be a part of a tradition that he did so much to establish. I am sorry I missed his service (at the International Communication Association meetings, which I know he attended) but my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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