George Fredrickson, Stanford expert on race and ethnicity

George Fredrickson, a Stanford professor who compared the plight of American blacks to the ghettoization of Jews in medieval Europe, died Feb. 25 of heart failure. He was 73.

A non-Jew of Swedish heritage, Fredrickson was a co-founder of Stanford’s Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. He was also a prolific author: His 1981 book “White Supremacy: A Comparative Study of American and South African History” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. “I knew him as a dear friend and my closest colleague in the history department,” said fellow professor Albert Camarillo. “I never heard him say a mean word about anyone — other than he didn’t like racists.”