Robert Sklar (1936-2011)
Details are sketchy at this point, but I just received the very sad news that Robert Sklar, film historian, author, and long-time professor of cinema studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts passed away over the weekend in Spain, apparently of injuries suffered in a cycling accident. Professor Sklar -- Bob to his friends, but always Prof. Sklar to me -- was my faculty adviser for my two years at NYU and one of the best teachers I ever had, on the subject of film or anything else.
Though you may not recognize his name, Sklar had an enormous impact on the world of film and film studies. His books, including the indispensable "Movie-Made America,", have become required reading for thousands of cinema studies students. Educated at Princeton and Harvard, Sklar worked as a professor of history at the University of Michigan before moving to NYU's burgeoning cinema studies department in 1977. He was also a member of the Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board, a former president of the Society for Cinema Studies, a Guggenheim fellow, and a contributing editor to Cineaste Magazine. Unbeknownst to myself and my fellow grad students at the time we were at NYU, Prof. Sklar had another impressive claim to fame: he was a member of the very first fantasy baseball league, Rotisserie Baseball, which was founded by Daniel Okrent, another (far more distinguished) former student of Sklar's....
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