Gerry Hirsch (January 22, 2013)

HIRSCH–Gerry Strasser, age 71, passed away peacefully at his home in Manhattan on January 22, 2013 – after more than a decade enduring the ravages of Pick’s Disease with gentleness and grace. Artist in life’s endeavors large and small, his excellence as a father to Scott, Robb and Matthew shines above all. Devoted son of the late Leonard and Mary; brother of the late Roland; grandfather of Tabatha, Holliss, Fisher, Marilla and Holden; husband to Anne Holliss Young (divorced) and Rosana Pereira Lima (divorced); loyal friend to many. Born September 27, 1941 in New York City, he attended The Dalton School, Camp Kennebec (Maine) and Riverdale Country School, where he captained the football, basketball, and baseball teams. At Wesleyan University, he received the college’s Best Athlete award as captain of the football and squash teams, was president of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, and elected to the Mystical Seven Honorary Society. A graduate of Harvard Business School, he began his career at Halle & Stieglitz – the Wall Street investment firm founded in 1889 by his great-grandfather Albert Stieglitz. While he remained an astute investor throughout his life, his private sector career focus was leadership training. He founded M.T.D. Associates, Inc., a management and financial consulting firm to leading banks and industrial companies including American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Conoco, DuPont, First Boston, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson and the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. Long associated with Boston’s Forum Corporation, he received their award for excellence in the practice of management consulting. He dedicated much of his professional life to public service, first working on anti-poverty programs in NYC as staff assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and in the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay, and then working on U.S. foreign aid and development programs. At the State Department’s Agency for International Development, stationed in Santiago, Chile, he coordinated the Overseas Private Investment Guarantee Program; at the Peace Corps in Washington, DC, he was Chief of the Programs and Training Division for Latin America; and at the School of International Training, The Experiment in International Living in Brattleboro, VT, he was the Director of the Graduate Degree Program in International Administration. Always willing to try new things – he traveled across Europe on motorcycle, climbed the Matterhorn, campaigned for NY State Assembly, drove a yellow cab, skied, and took up golf at the age of 50. As a late blooming artist, he followed his life-long passion for abstract painting; he studied intensively at The Art Students League of New York where he was awarded a merit scholarship. With genuine warmth, respect for others, integrity, hard work and an uplifting sense of humor throughout his life, he was blessed with an inner quality that enabled him to succeed in his wide range of endeavors, foremost as father and friend. In memory of Gerry S. Hirsch, donations may be made to the University of Pennsylvania, Center for Frontotemporal Dementia at or The Art Students League of New York, Seeds of the League at

Published in The New York Times on Jan. 29, 2013