Richard Simon Levy
Richard Simon Levy was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on May 10, 1940, to Roy A. and Helen E. (Loeffler) Levy. He died in Chicago on June 23, 2021. He graduated (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Chicago in 1962, and went on to earn a master s degree (1964) and a PhD (1969) in German history from Yale University. From 1967 to 1971, he taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1971, he moved to the University of Illinois, Chicago where, for nearly fifty years, he taught courses in German history, the history of antisemitism, and the holocaust.
Richard was a widely recognized authority on the history of European antisemitism and wrote or edited numerous books and articles and delivered dozens of papers on the topic all over the United States and abroad. He was the editor of Antisemitism: Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution (2005). He was also a prolific reviewer (including close to two hundred reviews for the librarians' journal, CHOICE) and an experienced translator of historical documents from the German. In 2001, he was Fulbright Senior Professor in Pisa Italy, and after 2011, adjunct professor of German Studies at Duke University.
Richard loved good music, good food, good old movies, good friends. He loved working with his hands and playing pool and baking bread. Most of all, he loved Linnea, his wife of more than half a century. He had a wry and occasionally devastating sense of humor that kept friends and family laughing, and punctured pretension in others when he came across it. Unlike his father before him, he lived to see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. And when the Cubs finally did win, he took the newspaper with the headline to his father's grave. At the Scrabble board, he was without mercy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and cousins Leonard and Robert Levy, and by two aunts and uncles, Marian and Henry Pollack and Elmer and Della Levy. He is survived by his wife Linnea of the home, and by his brother David (and Lynne) in Norman, Oklahoma; by his brother-in-law and friend, Jon Randolph; by his fond nieces and nephews, Beth (and Joel) and Benjamin (and Martha) of California, and by cousins Betty (and William) Shapiro of Philadelphia and Carol Jo Brown of California.
Richard didn't want any formal services. Those who wish to honor his memory can contribute to awards set up in his name by going to the UIC giving website and putting "The Richard S. Levy Endowed Fund in History" in the box marked "Other Funds." Or, you can send a check to "The University of Illinois Foundation", referencing "The Richard S. Levy Endowed Fund in History" in the memo line, and mailing it to: University of Illinois Foundation, P.O. Box 734500, Chicago, IL 60673-4500.