George Quester

Obituary of George H. Quester

Dr. George H. Quester passed away on July 3, 2023, in Arlington, Virginia. The cause was a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 86 years old.

Dr. Quester taught and wrote in the areas of arms control, international politics, American foreign policy, and military strategy for over 50 years. He was a Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland in College Park, and also taught at Cornell University, Harvard University, UCLA, and in the Department of Military Strategy at the National War College. He spent a year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. From 1991 to 1993, he served as the Olin Visiting Professor at the United State Naval Academy. After retiring from the University of Maryland, he served as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Dr. Quester often lectured overseas, including numerous visits to Peking University and Fudan University.

Dr. Quester is the author of over a dozen books on international security issues, and on broader questions of international relations. Dr. Quester’s publications include: Deterrence Before Hiroshima (1966, reissued 1986), The Politics of Nuclear Proliferation (1973), The Future of Nuclear Deterrence (1986), Nuclear Monopoly (2000), Offense and Defense in the International System (2003, 3rd ed.), Nuclear First Strike: Consequences of a Broken Taboo (2005), Preemption, Prevention and Proliferation: The Threat and Use of Weapons In History (2009), and Nuclear Zero?: Lessons from the Last Time We Were There (2015). He was a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Quester graduated from Columbia College.  He received his doctorate in political science from Harvard University.  

Dr. Quester is survived by his wife Aline Quester (née Olson) of 59 years; their children, Theodore Quester (Analicia Castañeda) and Amy Quester (Bruce Boyden); and five grandchildren, Hugo Boyden, Oliver Boyden, Nicolas Quester, Oscar Quester, and Brighid Wilhite. George was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, with a keen sense of humor. He loved traveling with Aline, watching the Yankees (as long as they were winning), and reading history. He was a lifelong railroad and subway buff and an avid stamp collector.

No memorial services are planned. Donations may be made in George’s memory to the National Eye Institute (NEI) or a charity of your choice.

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