Erwin Marquit, who was profiled in Monday's Variety section as a major figure in the Communist Party of Minnesota, died Thursday morning from cancer. He was 88.

Marquit, of Minneapolis, was a professor at the University of Minnesota for several decades, teaching physics and, for a time, a course on Marxism. In 1974, he ran for governor of Minnesota, the first Communist Party candidate in 32 years.

Marquit was born in New York City and raised in a Communist community. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, but upon becoming an electrical engineer, found himself blacklisted from employment. He emigrated to Poland, where he lived for 13 years and completed a doctoral degree in mathematics and physical science. He moved to Minnesota in 1966.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Kim Ode