Stewart Cole Blasier, founder of Pitt's Latin American Studies Center

Blasier, founder of Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), a pioneering scholar, and a veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service and World War II, died June 6 of a suspected heart attack at his retirement home in Mitchellville, Md. He was 96.

During his 10 years as CLAS director, beginning in 1964, Blasier recruited key faculty members and curated a vast collection of Latin American journals, books and other resources at Pitt, currently numbering more than 380,000 volumes and known as the Eduardo Lozano Latin American Collection. It remains one of the 10 largest such collections in the country.

Blasier authored numerous books and papers and continued teaching political science and international relations at Pitt until 1987, when he became chief of the Hispanic Division of the U.S. Library of Congress.

Read a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary