Noam Chomsky bereaved

Bryan Marquard

Brilliant and accomplished, Carol Chomsky taught for many years at Harvard and wrote articles about how young children learn to read. And yet, she possessed talents that did not easily fit on a curriculum vitae.

Through her work in language development and psycholinguistics, Dr. Chomsky also helped children learn the mechanics of reading. Dr. Chomsky died of cancer Friday at her Lexington home. She was 78.

Among Dr. Chomsky’s duties was, at times, acting as a de facto gatekeeper for those seeking access to her husband, a linguistics professor emeritus at MIT, whose writings and political activism made him famous in ways neither of them could have imagined when they married in 1949. Carol Schatz grew up in Philadelphia, and her mother taught at a Hebrew school where Noam Chomsky’s father was principal. A New Yorker profile of Noam Chomsky, in 2003, noted : “Carol was then, as she is now, small and slightly built, though her hair was shorter — now white, it grows nearly to her shoulders. She decided in her teens that she disliked wearing lipstick, and she has stuck to that.” — New York Times News Service