Molly G. Schuchat, an anthropologist, editor, and local playwright, died on May 19, 2020, at her home in Washington, DC, of natural causes. She was 92.
In addition to teaching in the DC area at Howard University, Trinity College, Catholic University, and at the National Institutes of Health for the Upward Mobility College of Federal City College (now the University of the District of Columbia), Schuchat spent several terms in Holly Springs, Mississippi, at Rust College, a Historically Black College founded in 1866 for the education of freed slaves. She worked as a consultant for Greenbelt Cares, the human services arm of the city of Greenbelt in Prince George’s County, Maryland. For more than a decade, she was editor of the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology Newsletter (now Anthropology News). She published articles on numerous anthropological topics in a variety of scholarly journals.
When she was in her sixties, Schuchat revived an early interest in theater and joined the Playwright’s Forum. Her first play, A Late Bloomer, was staged locally in 1995, followed by several more, culminating in Contributions: The Ways of the Modern World, which had a local reading in 2019.
Active in a number of organizations, including serving on the boards of the Asian American Forum, Barney House, and, the Society of Woman Geographers, Schuchat also helped establish the Anne Frank House, which provided housing for formerly homeless women. After several years of service, the Van Ness Neighbors Volunteer Network recognized her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Schuchat was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1928 and moved to Washington, DC, in 1934 when her father, Irwin Geiger, became the Head of Litigation in the National Recovery Administration. She graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School in 1945 and in 1948 she graduated from Vassar College with a BA in economics. In 1953, she married Michael A. Schuchat, with whom she had five children. After the birth of her youngest child, she began graduate studies in anthropology at Catholic University, earning an MA and PhD with a dissertation on comparative food culture among post-1956 Hungarian émigrés and their counterparts in socialist Hungary.
Schuchat’s husband Michael died in 2013. Her survivors include four children; Simon Schuchat of Washington, Betty McDonald of Bethesda, Dr. Anne Schuchat of Atlanta, and Charles Schuchat of Chicago; (Her second son, Frank, of Denver, died in 2017); five grandchildren; and three great grand-children.
Cite as: Schuchat, Simon. 2020. “Molly G. Schuchat.” Anthropology News website, August 14, 2020. DOI: 10.14506/AN.1476