Dr. Roy Branson, educator, mentor, ethicist, and advocate for social justice for many decades, died early Tuesday morning (July 6) at the Loma Linda University Medical Center in California after suffering from a sudden heart attack. He was 78.
Branson most recently served as associate dean of the LLU School of Religion, and director of the Center for Christian Bioethics. He joined the university in 2008.
Throughout his career Branson was a fervent activist for various causes, from the civil rights movement to anti-smoking legislation, anti-poverty initiatives, and social, political and medical ethics. He received his undergraduate degree from Atlantic Union College and earned graduate degrees at the University of Chicago and Andrews University. He received his PhD in Religious Ethics from Harvard University in 1968.
He established the Christian Ethics program at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary while teaching at Andrews University and has held faculty positions at Georgetown University and Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University). Branson testified before the U.S. congress, and led student and professional groups advocating for improved health and safety here in the United States and internationally.
Branson co-founded Spectrum magazine, an interdisciplinary quarterly journal, and served as editor for many years as well as a member of its board of directors. He was a past president of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies.
Branson was a widely published author, with articles in Christian and secular magazines and journals, as well as several books on a variety of topics including ethics and health policy.
This reflection was adapted from information provided by Loma Linda University Health.