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Abram Leon Sachar; Founding President of Brandeis University

July 28, 1993

Abram Leon Sachar, 94, National Hillel Foundation director and founding president of Brandeis University. The son of Jewish immigrant parents, Sachar was born in New York and grew up in St. Louis, where he attended Washington University. He obtained his doctorate in history from Cambridge. He taught history for 24 years at the University of Illinois, where he became involved with Hillel, which was founded there. After serving as Hillel's national director, he went to Waltham, Mass., in 1948 to help build Brandeis, the first Jewish-founded, non-sectarian university. In his 20 years as president, which he whimsically referred to as his "edifice complex," he built 56 buildings and recruited 350 faculty members. Subsequently he became chancellor, raising funds and acting as a general ambassador for the school. Sachar wrote several books on history, including "A History of the Jews" in 1929, "The Jew in the Contemporary World" in 1939 and "The Redemption of the Unwanted" in 1981. On Saturday in Newton, Mass., of respiratory failure.

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