UT Arlington

Retired UTA professor and philanthropist Allan Saxe dies at age 85

A longtime central figure in Arlington, Saxe gave his time and money to enrich the community

txcu allan saxe
NBC 5 News

Retired University of Texas at Arlington professor and philanthropist Dr. Allan Saxe died Tuesday. He was 85.

The beloved, longtime Arlington resident was born in Oklahoma and earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in political science from the University of Oklahoma.

He began teaching political science at UTA in 1965, way back when it was still known as Arlington State College. He'd spent more than five decades at the school as a lecturer and academic, leaving his mark on and off campus and becoming a central figure in the Arlington community before he retired in 2019.

Saxe's greatest lesson isn't about civics or politics; it's about living and his example is visible far beyond the classroom. Saxe's donations across North Texas are said to have totaled millions, and his philanthropy is evidenced by his name being added to roads, gardens, waterfalls, city parks, and even the Allan Saxe Dental Clinic at Mission Arlington.

"I've given away every dollar," Saxe told NBC 5 in 2019. "It's gone."

Saxe founded the Arlington Life Shelter to help provide shelter and employment programs for the homeless community. He also contributed to renovations for the college's baseball stadium and softball park. The baseball stadium was named Allan Saxe Stadium before another renaming would give it its current name, Clay Gould Ballpark, in honor of the Mavericks manager who died of cancer at age 29.

The softball venue was renamed after Saxe in 1993 to Allan Saxe Field.

"I can't throw a ball from here to there, but I have a softball field named after me," Saxe quipped.

As news of Saxe's passing began circulating Tuesday, tributes poured in over social media.

The University of Texas at Arlington posted on X(formerly Twitter) that Saxe is "a Forever Maverick, whose life and legacy impacted so many at UT Arlington."

The city of Arlington also posted on social media, "The City of Arlington pauses to remember the life and contributions of Dr. Allan Saxe, a beloved professor, political scientist, author, volunteer, and philanthropist."

NBC 5 often called on Saxe for interviews and last spoke with him in 2019 as his mobility started to become more restricted from post-polio syndrome, which prompted him to retire from UTA.

On that day in 2019, NBC 5 observed him teaching a high school class, during which he discussed the upcoming local elections.

"The mayor of Fort Worth is a former student of mine. The mayor of Grand Prairie is a former student of mine. I got 'em all," Saxe told his class with a cheeky grin. "I'm a kingmaker, in my own mind at least!"

In a 2020 interview with The Dallas Morning News, Saxe revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Saxe's cause of death has not been confirmed. He's survived by his longtime partner and wife, Ruthie Brock. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.

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