The Penn State community is mourning the death of alumnus Stanley Weintraub, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities and fellow emeritus of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, who died on July 28 in Jennersville, Pennsylvania. He was 90 years old.
Weintraub, born in Philadelphia on April 17, 1929, was the eldest child of Benjamin and Ray Segal Weintraub. According to his family, he was officially listed as “Male Baby Weintraub” on his birth certificate because his parents could not decide between Stanley and Seymour as a name when they filed the certificate and because they did not change it once they settled on the name Stanley.
Weintraub graduated from South Philadelphia High School and then attended West Chester State Teachers College (now West Chester University of Pennsylvania), where he received his bachelor’s degree in education in 1949. He continued his education at Temple University where he received his master's degree in English “in absentia,” after being commissioned as a second lieutenant and serving with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, for which he received a Bronze Star.
Weintraub enrolled at Penn State at the conclusion of the war and received his doctorate. in English in 1956. He joined the Penn State faculty after graduation and rose through the ranks to eventually become an Evan Pugh Professor – the highest distinction afforded a University professor – in 1986. He also served as the director of Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) – the predecessor of what is now the Penn State Humanities Institute – from 1970 to 1990 and was named an IAH Fellow in 1977. He retired from Penn State with emeritus status in 2000.
“The humanities institute continues to build on the legacy of Dr. Weintraub’s two decades of leadership of the IAH,” said John Christman, professor and director of the Penn State Humanities Institute. “He was a world-renowned intellectual who helped put scholarship in the humanities and arts at Penn State on the world stage.”
Weintraub was also a prolific and award-winning author who wrote more than 50 books during his career. He was a National Book Award finalist in 1967 for his book, “Beardsley,” and a 1968 Guggenheim Fellow. His book, “Whistler: A Biography,” was named one of the 30 notable books of the year by the American Library Association in 1974, and his book, “Iron Tears,” was named a finalist for the George Washington Prize for best book on the nation’s founding era in 2005.
Weintraub is survived by his wife of 65 years, Rodelle; by their three children, Mark (Judith) of Eugene, Oregon; David (Carie Lee) of Nashville, Tennessee; and Erica (Bruce) of Pullman, Washington; and by their eight grandchildren, MaryAlison, Sarah Beth, Sofia, Jimmy, Hannah, Isaac (Kelly), Benjamin and Noah.
A memorial will be scheduled for a later date in Jennersville. Condolences may be sent to the family via Schoenberg Memorial Chapel, 519 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 19809. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Weintraub Center for the Study of the Arts and Humanities, West Chester University Libraries, 25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19383.