Charles Xavier - Educator, Philanthropist, and Activist – Dies
Charles Xavier, a mutant rights advocate, educator, and philanthropist who served as informal advisor to several heads of state, died last night at his home in Salem Center, NY. He was 72 years old.
Dr. Jean Grey of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning said that the cause of death was pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Xavier (pronounced ex-AY-vee-er) was a familiar presence in both New York and Washington, as well as in foreign capitals. A mutant himself, he used the family fortune left him by his father, financier Edmund Xavier, largely to advance the status of mutants and to aid distressed mutant youth. He established the Xavier Foundation, a charitable organization with a focus on mutant issues; Xavier’s Academy for Gifted Youth, a private boarding school of which he was headmaster; and the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, an educational and research institution. Professor Xavier, known to his students and colleagues as “Professor X,” was also the founder and leader of the mutant paramilitary organization known as the X-Men.
In recent years, he was frequently seen in Washington, DC, lobbying for mutant rights, including working against passage of the ill-fated Mutant Registration Act of 2006, as well as attempting to forestall later, successful mutant legislation. Professor Xavier and the X-Men were instrumental in uncovering the true source of the plague outbreak that precipitated the recent War on Mutants. During the war, Dr. Xavier and his X-Men fled to Canada, where they worked with Alpha Flight, a Canadian government agency staffed entirely by mutants, to discover the cause of the plague outbreak, eventually tracing it to the militia group Sacred Honor. Their discovery led to the end of the war and eventual revocation of all federal anti-mutant initiatives. Since the conclusion of the War on Mutants, Professor Xavier has been a frequent advisor to President Obama and in recent months has been discussed as a possible appointment for a cabinet post, should one become vacant.
The White House released the following statement from the President, “I am saddened to learn of the death of Charles Xavier, a great man and a great American. A tireless supporter and defender of the oppressed everywhere, Charles was a man of great vision and even greater empathy and compassion. I am proud to say that he was my friend and will miss him terribly.”
Charles Francis Xavier was born in Salem Center, NY on May 1, 1940 to Edmund and Gloria Xavier. Little is known about his early life. He was educated privately at home for much of his childhood. At the age of 14 he was seriously injured in an automobile accident. The driver of the car died and the young Charles Xavier was rendered a paraplegic. For the rest of his life he used a motorized wheelchair. His frustration with heavy and unwieldy models available at the time led him to design the Xavier Rollabout, the lightweight and low cost electronic wheelchair that has increased mobility for so many disabled individuals.
Mr. Xavier excelled at Yale University, where his undergraduate degree was in English literature and his master’s degree was in physics. He later earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in physical engineering from Columbia University, as well as a number of honorary degrees from several universities. Patents for a number of inventions of his, including the Rollabout, added to the already substantial inheritance left him by his parents. In 1980, Professor Xavier created the Xavier Foundation and embarked on a lifelong effort to use his financial resources for the benefit of disadvantaged mutants.
It is not known at what age Professor Xavier’s mutant abilities manifested. He was reticent to discuss his powers, but they were known to be in the psionic category, and to include telepathy. He was said to have the ability to recognize other mutants as well, even those whose appearance did not reveal their mutant status. Xavier surrounded himself with mutants, forming the X-Men and his academy – a private boarding school for mutant teenagers, many of whom were homeless when they arrived. The Xavier Academy is funded by the Xavier Foundation and operates out of what was the Xavier family home.
Although there have been calls from Senator Marley and others for a large-scale investigation of the X-Men, the group has mostly managed to stay out of the public eye. Known to be a specially trained force of mutants, some of whom also work as teachers at Xavier’s Academy, the X-Men have generally operated in secrecy. There have been two notable exceptions, when Charles Xavier’s X-Men’s accomplishments were subject of public discourse. The first was when the X-Men captured Brotherhood of Mutants founder Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr in 2006, averting his attempt to assassinate a number of world leaders attending a UN summit. Lehnsherr was convicted of two murders of law enforcement officers and multiple counts of attempted murder and is serving a life sentence in a specially constructed plastic prison in Maryland. The second very public act of the X-Men was their investigation of Sacred Honor and the resulting seizure of documents related to their bioterrorist activities. This discovery led not only to the end of the War on Mutants, but also to a close alliance between Professor Xavier and President Obama, as well as requests from foreign leaders for assistance from Dr. Xavier and his X-Men.
Professor Xavier is survived by his son, Scott Summers, of Salem Center, NY.
Newsweek, July 16, 2012 Milestones Column
Died. Charles Xavier, Mutant Rights Activist, 72 of pancreatic cancer at his palatial home in Salem Center, NY, headquarters of the X-Men and the Xavier Academy. A paraplegic since age 15, Xavier was a powerful telepath and the heir to the Xavier investment banking fortune. He used his gifts and his wealth to further the cause of mutant rights, through the Xavier Foundation, the “team” of specially trained mutants called the X-Men, and the Xavier Academy, known colloquially as “Mutant High.” Xavier and his X-Men were the prime movers in the denouement of last year’s War on Mutants. It’s largely through his efforts that the Mutant Detention Act and related legislation were quickly repealed at the end of the war. In recent months, Xavier’s name has been repeatedly floated as a possible Secretary of State, should President Obama be reelected in November. Xavier’s death came as a surprise to all but his closest associates. He had been involved in all of his usual activities until quite recently, and attended a State dinner at the White House in honor of Prime Minister Martin of Canada only a month ago. Charles Xavier is survived by his adopted son, Scott Summers.
The Globe and Mail, July 19, 2012
Charles Xavier, Inventor and Advocate: 1940-2012
By P.D. Carson
Special to the Globe and Mail
A mutant rights advocate, philanthropist and inventor, he was among the first wave of mutants, with psionic powers that manifested in the 1950s. A very private person for much of his life, he played a public role on the world stage near the end of it.
TORONTO – During the War on Mutants last year, American mutant rights advocate Charles Xavier met with Prime Minister Martin just as American pressure was mounting for Canada to join the war effort. His impassioned pleas were widely regarded to have been the deciding factor in Martin’s steadfast resistance to joining in the War on Mutants. Last month at a White House dinner for the P.M., Charles Xavier was an honoured guest. Those two events reflect the rapid changes that Xavier went through at the end of his life.
Charles Xavier was born in Salem Center, NY in Westchester County. Although Salem Center is now a suburb of New York City, the Xavier home was at the time of his birth in a rural area full of farms and country estates. The only child of investment banker Edmund Xavier, he was the heir to the Xavier fortune. He was the first mutant in his family and came into his powers well before the mutant phenomenon was widely known.
A paraplegic due to an automobile accident at the age of 15, Mr. Xavier was determined to live a full life in spite of his disability. His life continued with much the same plans that he’d had before his accident, including degrees from both Yale and Columbia Universities. With engineering degrees and a creative mind, he was well equipped to pursue a career as an inventor. His best-known invention, the Xavier Rollabout electronic powered wheelchair, has been manufactured in Cambridge, ON since 1999.
Mr. Xavier had long been a supporter of increased accessibility for the disabled both in the U.S. and Canada. The Xavier Foundation is a major donor to the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University.
Charles Xavier’s life work, though, was the advancement of the status of mutants worldwide. The Xavier Foundation has largely funded projects to assist mutants, including the formation of a boarding school for mutant adolescents: the Xavier Academy for Gifted Youth. A private mutant paramilitary organization, the X-Men, was formed in the 1990s and was led by Charles Xavier and his son, Scott Summers. The X-Men and Alpha Flight – a division of the federal government’s Department H, headquartered in Toronto – have often cooperated on international projects. Notable among these were the rescue of several detainees during the 2008 mutant crisis in Belarus and the discovery of the bioterrorism acts of the U.S. militia group Sacred Honor last year, which led to the end of the War on Mutants and advancement of the mutant rights cause in the United States Congress.
Charles Xavier died on July 11 at his home, of pancreatic cancer. James MacDonald Hudson, co-director of Alpha Flight, had this to say, “Charles Xavier was an inspiration to me. He had an indomitable spirit, a keen mind, and an unshakeable commitment to mutant rights throughout the world.”
Charles Francis Xavier was born in New York State on May 1, 1940. He died at his home in Salem Center, NY on July 11, 2012. He was 72 years old. He leaves his son, Scott Summers and his adopted daughter, Jean Grey-Cherevko.
The Washington Times, July 12, 2012
Obituary: Mutant Power Advocate Charles Xavier
Charles Xavier, a billionaire mutant who used his inherited wealth to advocate for increased political power for mutants in the U.S. and abroad, died of natural causes last night at the Xavier mansion in Westchester County, NY. He was 72.
Born to wealth and privilege in 1940, he was the son of financier Edmund Xavier. An accident in his teens left the younger Xavier paralyzed from the waist down, but his physical limitations were compensated for by his prodigious mutant powers. A powerful telepath, Xavier was also rumored to have the ability to control the minds of others. If true, this ability may have accounted for his influence over several world leaders, including President Obama, who has tirelessly pushed the Xavier pro-mutant agenda through Congress in the months since the end of the War on Mutants.
Xavier was the founder of the shadowy group known as the X-Men. Shrouded in secrecy, the X-Men have been described as both a vigilante organization and a private army, although their supporters refer to them as “superheroes.” Staffed entirely by mutants, the organization’s activities are almost never revealed to the public. The X-Men were rumored to have been involved in the capture of James Callahan, who was convicted of spearheading the attacks of April 16, 2010. Callahan’s death in prison has left many questions about the FBI investigation and subsequent trial unanswered. Evidence that Callahan may have been framed has recently been uncovered, according to Senator William Marley of Maryland.
The X-Men were also involved in the alleged discovery that the militia group Sacred Honor, and not a mutant underground, started last year’s plague epidemic that killed over 50,000 Americans. None of the plague victims were mutants, although many mutants were at the site of the initial outbreak. Persistent rumors that the X-Men planted the evidence they claimed to have uncovered have still not been investigated thoroughly by the Obama administration.
In addition to the X-Men, Xavier founded the Xavier Academy for Gifted Youth, a boarding school operating out of the Xavier mansion in Salem Center, NY. Variously described as a training center for his mutant army and a home for delinquent mutant youth, the Academy does not make its curriculum or its list of faculty members, students and alumni available. Several wealthy and powerful mutants are known to have attended the Xavier Academy, including Warren Worthington III, former CEO of Worthington Industries, and the late Henry J. McCoy, who was killed in the 4/16 attack in Washington DC.
Senator William Marley, a frequent opponent of initiatives to provide special rights for mutants, expressed regret upon hearing of his death. “It is very sad, of course,” he said from his home in Chevy Chase. “It will be interesting, however, to see if those in the Obama administration and in foreign governments who have been convinced to follow Xavier’s directives in recent months change their minds now that he has passed on. If so, it raises questions about just how he convinced them.”
A press release from the Xavier Foundation states that Charles Xavier is survived by his son, Scott Summers. Mr. Summers is the Assistant Headmaster of Xavier’s Academy and a trustee of the Xavier Foundation. He is also rumored to be the “field leader” of the X-Men. There is no record of Xavier marrying or adopting a child, and no explanation was given for the difference in surnames between Xavier and his “son.”
From Mutant High Notes, the weekly newspaper of Xavier’s Academy.
Gone but Not Forgotten by Joseph Garafolo
We lost our leader this week. We’ll never be the same.
He was the one who greeted each one of us when we first arrived, scared and confused.
He was the one who told us we had valuable gifts.
He was the one who promised to teach us how to use them.
He was the first person we met who told us to be proud we are mutants.
He was the first proud mutant we’d ever met.
He was the one who treated us all with respect.
He was the one who demanded respect from us – for ourselves and for each other.
He was the one who, when he caught us out of our dorms after curfew, never got an excuse from us. We knew there was no point, since he’d just read our minds and know we were lying.
He was the one who taught us physics. Even if we thought we couldn’t learn it. Even if we didn’t want to learn it.
He was the one who defied categories like “disabled” and “powerful” and made us wonder what those words really meant.
He was the one who opened his home to us and made it our home, too.
He was the one who told us this is our home as long as we want it to be.
He was the one who called us his children. We rolled our eyes at that, not wanting to be anyone’s children anymore, but we liked it, too. We’ll miss hearing him say that.
We miss you, Professor X.