Herman E. Warsh, Teacher, Civil Libertarian, Environmentalist, and Philanthropist
Herman E. Warsh, co-founder of the C.S. Fund, died on April 18. He was 82.
The C.S. Fund, Herman E. Warsh, and his wife, Maryanne Mott, have generously supported The Progressive magazine in the past, and we mourn his passing.
Maryanne Mott, the other co-founder of the C.S. Fund, has provided us with some crucial information about Herman’s life, and I’d like to share some of it with you.
“Herman was born in Calgary, Canada, on March 28, 1924, to Samuel Warshovsky and Rebecca Wietstinietski, both originally of Poland,” she writes. The family moved to LA when Herman was a toddler, and he grew up there.
“He married his longtime sweetheart, Lorraine Rack” in 1941, and then entered the Navy in 1942 and served for three years in the South Pacific.
After the war, he went back to LA, where he got his college degree and then a master’s in history at UCLA, and then he pursued not one, not two, but three doctorates.
For 13 years he taught junior high and high school in California.
“In the mid-1960s he spent a year in charge of literacy education programs for Hawaii on the Big Island,” Maryanne writes. “At the college level he taught at the University of Southern California, the University of Hawaii in Hilo, and later taught night courses at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In addition, he taught literacy to the U. S. troops in Germany, to First Nations’ peoples in Alaska, and to incarcerated men in the California penal system.”
In the early 1970s, “he went to work for the C. S. Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan. . . . Herman moved in the fall of 1974 to head the Department of Elementary Education at the University of New Mexico for three years.”
In 1980, Herman and Maryanne got married. Together, they “established the C. S. Fund, a small, pass-through family foundation supporting progressive initiatives throughout the country with an emphasis on civil liberties and environmental issues. They also endowed the Warsh Mott Legacy, with parallel mission and granting interests, to guarantee longevity to their efforts.”
Herman was more than a philanthropist, however.
“Well beyond money, Herman gave generously of his time,” Maryanne writes. “In Santa Barbara he served on the Board of the Fund for SB from 1984 to 1994 and of Pacifica Graduate Institute from 1991 until his death. Devoted to quality journalism that matters, he served on the board of the High Country News from April 1984 through February 1992.”
In a closing befitting of his life, Maryanne asks that “tributes to Herman take the form of good deeds done in his name.”
He did plenty himself.