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Ray Browne and the meaning of 'Seinfeld'

October 24, 2009 | 11:11 am

Seinfled Ray Browne, who founded the department of popular culture at Bowling Green State University, was frequently quoted by Times reporters over the years.

Browne, who died Thursday at 87, wrote and edited more than 70 books on pop culture. The Associated Press credited him with pioneering the study of things such as bumper stickers and cartoons.

When Jerry Seinfeld announced plans to end his television show, Browne explained in 1997 that "'Seinfeld' and those shows are therapeutic" by exposing society's foibles. "If you repress it, you turn into a totalitarian society. If you bring it out, it's a kind of group psychology."

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: "Seinfeld" stars Michael Richards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander in 1995. Credit: Associated Press