Isidore Starr died on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the age of 106. Isidore was born on November 24, 1911 in Brooklyn, New York to Nathan and Yetta Starr, both Russian immigrants. He often spoke lovingly of his parents and two sisters, Vivian and Belle.
In 1932, Isidore graduated from City College of New York, going on over the years to earn a law degree from St. John's University of Law, a Master of Arts in American History from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research.
While attending law school, he taught Civics at Brooklyn Technical High School, where he discovered his true calling: a lifelong commitment to transform and revolutionize the teaching of civics, history and law. Through his passion and efforts to bring the law to life by encouraging lively discussion and debate in the classroom, and to give these projects a national profile through the founding of Centers for Law-Related Education, Isidore became known as "The Father of Law-Related Education." Always at the core of his work was reverence for the U. S. Constitution.
Isidore served in the Army during World War II, first at Camp Plauche in New Orleans, and then in the Philippines, as an Information Education Officer.
In 1940, he married Esther Kay Rubin, and shared a joyous, loving, and deeply respectful marriage with her until her death in 2008. Together they raised their only son, Larry, and enjoyed their roles as parents-in-law to Larry's wife Leslie, and as grandparents to their three grandchildren.
From 1961 until his retirement in 1975, Isidore taught at Queens College in New York. After retirement, he moved to Arizona, where he continued to lead national law conferences and seminars for more than two decades. He later relocated to Seattle to be nearer to family.
In 1983, in recognition of his pioneering work, the American Bar Association established the Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education. Among many other awards, he was named an Honorary Texas Citizen in 1986, and was recognized by the Senate of Maryland in 2011.
Author, educator, and humanitarian, he will be lovingly missed and fondly remembered by innumerable students, friends, colleagues, and his family: son Larry and his wife Leslie; their children, Dan, Sonya and Greg; and greatgrandchildren, Djaka, Salif, and his namesake, Isaac.
Isidore was a good friend, a valued leader, and a respected academic scholar. I was pleased to know him and to have been inspired by his wisdom and knowledge. He was not only a mentor to me, he mentored several of my graduate students as they became active in law-related education. i am sorry to have heard of his death so late; thanks to Mary Naylor for this information now..
Jack L. Nelson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University
Isadore was one of the kindest, most generous of soul people
I have had a privilege of caring for and interestingly enough but not surprisingly he cared for us at the same time. He and Kay will be in my fond memories always. So sorry for your loss Larry and family
The national civic and law-related education community joins Dr. Starr's Family and Friends in mourning the passing of this towering giant of Democracy and Civic Learning. Dr. Starr truly revolutionized the teaching of civics in the United States and had a positive impact on democracy education throughout the world. Dr. Starr was a kind and giving mentor to so many educators, his influence extends to classrooms around the globe. His gentle, kind good humor and tremendous wisdom will be sorely missed. Vaya Con Dios noble warrior for truth, justice and democracy.
Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools
In the brief time that I knew him, he touched me deeply. A man of tremendous integrity, wisdom and kindness.My sincere condolences to his family as well as sincere gratitude for having known him.
Isidore played a key role in encouraging me as a young educator entering the field of Law-Related Education. He also helped me during my doctoral research in LRE. I have fond memories of him sitting on my front porch swing with my infant daughter Leah in 1976 (Rochester NY) and later being present at the NYS LRE annual conference when Leah was awarded the state LRE teacher of the year. He was a great educator and inspiration and a genuinely wonderful human being.
So sorry to lose such a wonderful and beautiful man today. One of the kindest and sincere ones you could ever know. You taught me much my friend, and will be deeply missed by so many whose lives you have touched. 😘 Love and prayers to family and all the ones that cared for him to contribute to this man's quality of life. I will miss his warm smile and sincere voice. ❤
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