Remembering Eric McLuhan (1942 – 2018)

19May18

Dr. Eric McLuhan, Portrait by Michael McLuhan

Eric McLuhan (1942 – 2018) passed away suddenly on Thursday, May 17, after losing consciousness in his hotel room in Bogota, Columbia after an academic visit to the Universidad de la Sabana in Chía, 7 km north of Bogota. He had been invited to deliver the inaugural lecture for the Doctorate in Communication program at the university. Titled “Media Ecology in the 21st Century”, it was very well-received. He was a scholar and a religious humanist, continuing his scholarship, research and writing until the end.

His son Andrew who accompanied him tried but was unable to resuscitate him. Andrew announced today on his McLuhan Institute Facebook page that there would be a funeral for Eric McLuhan at 11:00 A.M. in Our Lady of Torcoroma in Bogotá, Colombia today. It is anticipated that the McLuhan family will hold a commemoration ceremony and celebration of Eric McLuhan’s life back in Canada.

Eric McLuhan’s passing is a deeply felt loss to the overlapping Marshall McLuhan community of interest and the Media Ecology Association to which he contributed. There is no question that he did more than anyone else to complete and extend his father’s work and legacy with a prodigious output of unfinished books begun by his father that Eric completed, original books on media and culture and edited volumes. These include:

  • City as Classroom (with Marshall McLuhan, Kathryn Hutchon), 1977
  • Laws of Media: The New Science (with Marshall McLuhan), U of Toronto Press, 1988
  • The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake, U of Toronto Press, 1997
  • Electric Language: Understanding the Present, Stoddart, 1998
  • The Human Equation, Book I: The Constant in Human Development and Culture from Pre-Literacy to Post-Literacy (with W. D. Constantineau), BPS Books, 2010
  • Media and Formal Cause (with Marshall McLuhan), NeoPoeisis Press, 2011
  • Theories of Communication (with Marshall McLuhan), Peter Lang, 2011
  • The Human Equation, Book II: The Science of Investigation (with W. D. Constantineau), BPS Books, 2011
  • The Human Equation, Book III: Know Thyself: Action and Perception (with W. D. Constantineau), BPS Books, 2012
  • The Human Equation, Book IV: Mime and Media I (with W. D. Constantineau), BPS Books, 2016 [Forthcoming]
  • The Human Equation, Book V: Mime and Media II (with W. D. Constantineau), BPS Books, 2016 [Forthcoming]
  • Cynic Satire, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015
  • The Sensus Communis: Synesthesia, and the Soul, BPS Books, 2015
  • The Lost Tetrads of Marshall McLuhan (with Marshall McLuhan), OR Books, 2017

Edited Books

  • Essential McLuhan (with F. Zingrone), Stoddart, 1995
  • Who Was Marshall McLuhan? (with F. Zingrone, W. Constantineau), Stoddart, 1996
  • The Medium and the Light: Writings on Religion by Marshall McLuhan, (With Jacek Schlarek) Stoddart, 1998
  • The Book of Probes (with W. Kuhns), Gingko Press, 2004
  • McLuhan Unbound, Gingko Press, 2005

A Short Biography of Eric McLuhan from his Personal Website

Dr. Eric McLuhan B.Sc., M.A., Ph.D.

  • B.Sc. – Communications, Wisconsin State University, 1972
  • M.A., Ph.D. – English Lit., University of Dallas, 1980, 1982

An internationally-known and award-winning lecturer on communication and media, Dr. McLuhan has over 40 years’ teaching experience in subjects ranging from high-speed reading techniques to literature, communication theory, media, culture, and Egyptology. He has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.

In addition to co-authoring “Laws of Media” in 1988 and working closely for many years with his father, the late Marshall McLuhan, he has also been deeply involved in exploring media ecology and communications.

In 1980, with Roger Davies, Dr. McLuhan developed the Thinking and Writing workshops, and together they founded McLuhan & Davies Communications, Inc., to help business professionals with their writing and editing skills.

His research and thinking have been published in books, magazines, and journals covering topics such as media, communications, perception, and literature since 1964. He is currently researching the nature and structure of renaissances, including the one that now envelops us: the first global renaissance.

His most recent published work includes The Sensus Communis – Synesthesia, and the Soul(BPS Books, 2015)Cynic Satire (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), and a third book in The Human Equation series (BPS Books, 2012). Several other books are currently in preparation. (Source: http://ericmcluhan.com/).

Dr. Eric McLuhan receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Sacred Letters from St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto


7 Responses to “Remembering Eric McLuhan (1942 – 2018)”

  1. 1 Marilyn Fraser

    I am so sorry to read of the sudden passing of Eric. He has always been fondly remembered by my children, particularly Vicky and Chris. I am sure it must be a shock to the family to happen suddenly. I remember your kindness to me when Rick died by accident. I know well how shocking it is with a sudden passing. My thoughts are with you. May Eric rest in peace.

  2. 2 Randy Lumpp

    It is hard to imagine what the Marshall McLuhan legacy would have been like if it weren’t for Eric’s relentless work to see his father’s unpublished manuscripts to print and many of his unfinished works completed. But Eric also made significant contributions to media studies and its communities by his own deeply rooted scholarship and teaching and by his gentle, wise and creative presence in so many places and on so many occasions. He will be sorely missed.

  3. 3 Toomas Sauks

    What a loss of a shining light.

  4. a gentle soul and wonderful person. a pleasure and honor to have known and worked with him, and to receive his ever so curious emails about various discoveries over the years since working on the book of probes (quotes from his father)

  5. Oh, Eric… such a generous spirit, and true friend. I first reached out to you as a McLuhan fan and received in response a kind letter written in green ink. I still remember and will always the twinkle in your eye, the joy in your voice, the eternal optimist in you. But even moreso, your curiosity and breadth of wisdom and knowledge. You did your father more than proud and now we are all at a loss as to what to do without you. But we will soldier on, as the ideas… the laws of media… are more relevant every year. I will try sincerely to make the service. To feel your presence one more time and to wish you on your way. Blessings.

  6. It has been a true privilege knowing Eric McLuhan. He was not only a great popularizer of his father Marshall’s iconoclastic work, but also a highly original thinker and inspiring educator in his own right. A true humanist and visionary representing the best of Canada.


  1. 1 Escape Route – Midnight Oil Studios

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