In memoriam: Michael Real

Royal Roads University is mourning the loss of Professor Emeritus Michael Real, who died on Dec. 21, 2020. The flag on Hatley Castle will be lowered to half-mast on Tuesday, January 5, 2020 in honour of Real, who was granted the distinction of Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2016 to recognize his meritorious and academic service.

Real’s research focused on the role of media and culture and how they influence each other to help shape power in society. Before joining Royal Roads in 2004, he taught at the University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University and Ohio University.

As a young academic, he was involved in the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s and was present for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

Real’s cultural interests also included sports, and he did one of the first academic studies focused on the Super Bowl. This range of interest and expertise made Real a sought-after interviewee for media looking for his expert views on the communication, contemporary culture and sport.

Real’s articles appeared in academic and popular media in the Americas, Europe and Africa. His most recent book, Bodies of Discourse: Sports Stars, Media, and the Global Public, is a co-authored examination of politics, sports and media worldwide.

During his time at Royal Roads, Real created and funded two awards for students in the School of Communication and Culture — the Diana Beeson Memorial Award and the Michael Real Award.

The Royal Roads community extends deep condolences to Real's partner Catherine Scorey, daughter Marisa, grandson Bear, and family and friends.