I found out on Facebook that today is Harold Hyman’s 90th birthday. Dr. Hyman came to Rice in the fall of 1968, just in time to experience the Masterson crisis, and he was instrumental in ensuring that the history of that episode was preserved for people like me to use later. He was a prolific writer and editor in the fields of legal and constitutional history as well as the Civil War and Reconstruction and he ran an infamous, never-ending graduate seminar that proved brilliantly effective at getting his students to complete their doctorates in a timely fashion. He was devoted to those students and worked tirelessly on their behalf. He and his beloved wife, Ferne, treated them as family.
Because he was both accomplished and photogenic he got his picture taken a lot–we have dozens of pictures of him. This first one, dated 1972, is very sweet:
But I can’t resist adding a second, because it made me smile. He could stop you in your tracks with that look:
A Marine in World War II, Dr. Hyman spoke movingly at Rice’s Veteran’s Day celebration in 2012.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Hyman!
And thanks to Rachel Dvoretzky for pointing me to the Facebook post.