Stanley Hirshson (1928-2003)
Frank Warren, May 2004
Professor Stanley Hirshson of the Queens College history department died on December 26, 2003. Stanley joined the department in 1963 and quickly established himself as one of its leading scholars. He had already published his first book, Farewell to the Bloody Shirt, a study of post-Reconstruction Republican Party politics. He would go on to publish four more books. Early in his career, he published biographies of Grenville Dodge and Brigham Young. Later, he published biographies of General William Sherman and General George Patton. The latter, the definitive biography of the controversial general, brought him well-deserved national attention with several television appearances on book discussion shows. Within the department, Stanley was a dedicated teacher. He was especially good in his undergraduate and graduate seminars in introducing students to the joys and intricacies of historical research. As a result more graduate students chose to work under him on their MA theses than with any other member of the department. Stanley was a very private person, but he enjoyed talking military history with his students; often he spent several hours in his office chatting with them. With his colleagues he enjoyed exchanging stories and anecdotes about research travel and debating baseball history. Although as a loyal Brooklyn Dodgers fan, I could not share his devotion to the Yankees (rooted in his childhood and the Newark Bears of Charlie Keller), I had to admit that he knew his baseball lore. Above all, Stanley was a person whose love of historical research and love of his family best defined his person. His colleagues and the departmental staff knew him as a kind, thoughtful, and generous person on whom they could always rely. He is survived by his wife, Janet, and by his son, Scott.