The National Association of Scholars has just learned that Sam Bluefarb passed on in January, at the age of 98. Sam was a long-time and stalwart supporter of the NAS. He was Professor Emeritus of English at Los Angeles Harbor College, where he taught for 23 years. He also taught as an adjunct instructor at UCLA, Chapman University, the College of the Desert and San Jacinto College.
Sam specialized in 19th and 20th century American literature, and published numerous articles and reviews in the field. He showed himself to be a man of letters in the essays, memoirs, and short stories he contributed to The New English Review. In 2002, well into his retirement, he published The Dubious Benefits of Nostalgia and Other Stories, a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories.
Sam was an early member of the NAS, and enthusiastically embraced its mission in his association of nearly 30 years with the organization. Sam once praised Sidney Hook in ways that help explain his own life and ideals:
The hundreds of articles that Hook produced during the time of the student campus rebellions of the 1960’s were medicines of clarity for me. One could be anti–communist—as many of Partisan Review editors were, themselves on the non-Stalinist Left—and still remain socialists without necessarily supporting the McCarthy House Un-American Activities Hearings.
Even in his passing, Sam continues to support the NAS’s work. Today we were informed that he left a provision in his will bequeathing a generous gift from his estate. We are deeply grateful to Sam for his decades of partnership, we cherish his memory, and we are humbled by this unexpected legacy. We will use it to support work that will further his ideals.
The NAS is grateful to everyone who chooses to entrust us with an estate gift. If you, like Sam, also wish to support the NAS in its work to secure the future of Western civilization and American higher education, please contact Chris Kendall at [email protected] for more information about joining the NAS Legacy Society.
Photo: Legacy Society by Chance Layton // All Rights Reserved