Boris Blick (1922-2005)
James Friguglietti, December 2005
Boris A. Blick, professor of history emeritus at the University of Akron, died as a result of an accident on May 17, 2005. He was 82. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on September 13, 1922, he served as a combat engineer in World War II, participating in the D-Day landings in Normandy as well as taking part in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. For his courageous service he was awarded the Silver Star. After the conflict Blick pursued his education, receiving his BA from Brooklyn College (1950) and being elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned his MA (1951) and PhD (1958) from the University of Wisconsin. His doctoral dissertation, based on research conducted in France with the aid of a Fulbright Scholarship, dealt with the career of premier Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau.
Blick began his academic career as an instructor in the extension service of the University of Wisconsin. After five years of teaching at Rockford College (1959–64) where he chaired the social science division, he secured a position at the University of Akron. He remained there for a quarter century, rising to the rank of professor before he retired as professor emeritus in 1989. Blick left his large personal collection of books to the school’s Bierce Library.
With Louis Patsouras, he edited as well as contributed an essay, "What is Socialism? French Liberal Views in the 1890s," to Rebels against the Old Order: Essays in Honor of Morris Slavin (Youngstown University Press, 1994). Blick also wrote "French Liberals and Anarchism in the Late Nineteenth Century" for Crucible of Socialism, Louis Patsouris, ed. (Humanities Press International, 1987).
A soft-spoken, gentle, and generous man, Blick impressed those who knew him by his love of art and willingness to aid fellow scholars by sharing his wide knowledge of Third Republic France. His wife Judith, whom he married in 1953, and son Lee predeceased him. Blick is survived by daughters Sarah and Beth, and a sister Esther.
—James Friguglietti, Montana State University-Billings