Hazing Deaths: A Note to the Reader

I uncovered in 2019 many deaths prior to 2019 not known to me in 2018 when my last book “Hazing”was published by Indiana University Press. The findings: At least one U.S. school, club or organization hazing death occurred every year from 1954 to 1957 and 1959 to 2021–and many years, multiple deaths have transpired.

In other words, a United States hazing death has occurred each year since 1954 except for 1958. Deaths from hazing in the USA far outnumber deaths in Canada and Mexico (and I may make separate categories for those two nations at some point). Since the 1930s, the most hazing deaths have occurred in male fraternities–far more than other groups. 

2021 began with two fraternity and one likely athletic hazing death.No deaths have been reported in 2022 as of July 13, 2022.

–Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer, Phi Kappa Phi member and magazine book reviewer; Gdansk, Poland seaport; photo by Gosia Nuwer

Hank Nuwer’s Chronology of Deaths in North America includes deaths as a result of hazing, initiation, and pledging-related accidents/incidents/pranks. The list has been expanded to include military deaths, adult societies such as Masons and occupational deaths where hazing was involved. Scroll down past the school deaths for these latter hazing incidents.

Every attempt to keep the list current has been made by moderator Hank Nuwer. Certainly some deaths unknown to the moderator may one day be added to the list.  I have added a list of NON-hazing deaths (mainly misreported in newspapers 100 or more years ago) reported erroneously as hazing deaths elsewhere.  Additions and corrections?

Due to the occasional practice of an organization and/or school to deny that a death qualifies as hazing. I have tried to include information for DISPUTED deaths. Let the reader decide if a specific case is hazing or no. I have placed my archives in the H.N. Buffalo State Hazing Collection.

For decades I have pushed for hazing crimes to be reported as hate crimes are reported. This need for mandatory reporting is my passion.

If you have additional research or information on a death listed or not listed here, please email Hank Nuwer.

Finally, my condolences to all families who have lost loved ones so tragically. HN