James M. Buxbaum ’55 was a law professor, political scientist, and television and film executive. He passed away on July 15, 2011, at the age of 83.
Buxbaum, born in Jamaica, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. He enrolled at Columbia Law School after serving in the U.S. Army.
After graduation, Buxbaum worked as a lawyer before leaving the profession in 1957 to join his cousin, Ivan Tors, at the Hollywood production company Ivan Tors Films Inc. Buxbaum produced, wrote, and edited for television series such as Sea Hunt, The Aquanauts, and Flipper, which featured an eponymous dolphin protagonist that became a pop culture icon. Buxbaum produced 58 episodes of Flipper, and he also wrote scripts for the series.
In 1970, Buxbaum left the entertainment industry to pursue a career in academia. He earned a Ph.D. in political science at Claremont Graduate University and joined the faculty of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. He served as a professor of law and public policy at the university’s business school from 1978 until 1992.
Buxbaum, who was passionate about history and economics, is survived by eight nieces and nephews, as well as numerous other family members.