Law professor, entertainer Dennis Greene dies at 66

By: Rachel Cain – News Editor

UD School of Law professor Dennis Greene passed away Sept. 5 due to esophageal cancer.

Dennis Greene
Photo courtesy of

“When he walked into a room…he had a charisma and presence that attracted people to him,” said Jon Hess, Ph.D., communication professor and associate dean for Faculty Scholarship, Internationalization and Inclusive Excellence. “[Greene was] a friendly, down-to-earth kind of person who makes you feel every bit as worthy as he is.”

Greene co-founded the retro-rock group Sha Na Na as an undergraduate at Columbia University. The band performed at Woodstock in 1969 and toured internationally 1969-1977.

In addition to hosting a syndicated TV show 1977-1980, Sha Na Na was featured in the movie “Grease,” in which Greene sang lead for “Tears on My Pillow.”

After spending 15 years with the band, Greene chose to pursue a career in law. He graduated from Yale Law School and became vice president of production and features at Columbia Pictures. He later became president of Lenox/Greene Films.

Greene began teaching in 1995 and came to UD as a visiting professor in 2001-2002 before joining the School of Law faculty in 2004. He specialized in teaching constitutional and entertainment law.

“Since we made the announcement of [Greene’s] death, many people have shared so many stories about him,” Andrew Strauss, dean of the school of law, said. “He will be sorely missed around Keller Hall.”

Greene was 66-years-old.

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