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Jim Comerford smiles in front of buttons in his political campaign memorabilia collection.

In Memoriam: Jim Comerford (’81)

The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia mourns the passing of Center for Politics Board of Advisors Vice Chair James D. “Jim” Comerford (’81), who passed away Sunday, April 21 at the age of 64.

Jim had an incredible love of politics and its history, amassing one of the preeminent collections of political and campaign memorabilia. He shared most of his collection with the Center, actively engaging with the Center on how to develop teaching resources for UVA students and participants in the Center’s K-12 civics curricula through the Youth Leadership Initiative. His recollection for campaign and political history was second to none. Each of his visits to Grounds would include another large box or folder of pamphlets, buttons, stickers and posters that he would contribute to its archive. He knew the full story behind every item and the candidate it represented.

As an original member of the Center’s board, he was a perpetual advocate for the Center, engaging fellow ‘Hoos and leaders in politics across the nation in its activities, and worked tirelessly to strengthen the Center’s programs and operations.

Because of his philanthropic support of the Center’s Building Expansion, the Center’s library will be named in his honor and memory. He would repeatedly describe his support of the Center as “an act of patriotism,” supporting the Center as a means of strengthening our democracy and civic institutions.

Jim will be remembered for his love of storytelling and connecting with others, as well as his passion for his family, his Irish heritage, and his home state of Georgia.

The staff and Board of the Center sends its love and prayers to his wife Camilla, his children James, Jr., Joseph and Margaret, and his granddaughter, Abigail.

Jim Comerford smiles in front of buttons in his political campaign memorabilia collection.

Jim Comerford

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