US presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg’s dad honoured posthumously

Prof Joseph Buttigieg, father of Pete Buttigieg, has been honoured in Malta during Republic Day honours

Pete Buttigieg (right) with late father Prof. Joseph Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg (right) with late father Prof. Joseph Buttigieg

Prof. Joseph Buttigieg, father of US presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, was posthumously awarded the title of honorary member by President George Vella on Republic Day.

Buttigieg passed away in January of this year at the age of 71. His son, political novice Pete Buttigieg, has been surging in popularity amongst the democratic candidates and is the Mayor of small-town Southbend, Indiana.

His father, honoured earlier this morning, was born in Hamrun in 1947 and was a long-time professor at the New Mexico State University. In 1979, he was naturalized as a US citizen.

Joseph Buttigieg and Pete Buttigieg
Joseph Buttigieg and Pete Buttigieg

During the national feast today commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Republic, the Maltese state honoured 16 personalities with the awards of National Order of Merit or with the medals for Service to the Republic.

Joseph Buttigieg is amongst Roland Oreste Cassar and Lino Grech to receive an award posthumously this year.

Buttigieg migrated to the United States in order to pursue his Doctorate in English at the State University of New York where he earned his Ph.D in 1976 with a dissertation on aesthetics in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Buttigieg specialized in modern European literature and theory publishing numerous articles, essays and books. He also translated and edited the three-volume English edition of Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks. He was also a founding member and President of the International Gramsci Society.

At Notre Dame University (Indiana), Buttigieg held many leadership and administrative roles, including as Chair of the Department of English, Director of the London Program, and Director of the Hesburgh- Yusko Scholars Program, where he mentored some of the college’s most promising undergraduate students, with an emphasis on service and leadership.

His son, Pete, defamiliarised in the US through his ‘unpronounceable’ surname, is running for US president in the 2020 election to be held on 3 November of next year.