Beloved historian, former U of M professor Hy Berman dies


Hyman "Hy" Berman, a longtime University of Minnesota professor who was arguably the state's preeminent voice on politics and history, died Sunday at the age of 90.

A Star Tribune story on Berman's death chronicles his path from his native New York to Minnesota and a job at the University of Minnesota in 1961.

He soon befriended eventual governor Rudy Perpich on the Iron Range, and did advisory work in the political sphere for decades. The paper says he also taught at the University of Minnesota until his retirement in 2004.

In 1998, the U.S. Army veteran served as the first witness in Minnesota's tobacco trial, MPR's Bob Collins writes.

"We really did lose a giant," Collins writes of Berman's death.

Berman – described by the Pioneer Press as a "colorful historian" – was frequently seen on local political and news programs, even after that retirement.

That included TPT's "Almanc," which posted this video from 2000 on its Facebook page.

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"If Minnesota had designated a historian laureate in the past half-century, Hyman Berman surely would have held that title," wrote the Star Tribune's editorial board in a piece.

Here are some tributes from social media.

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