HOOGENBOOM--Ari, historian, died October 25 of complications from mesothelioma. He was 86. He was born in Richmond Hill, Queens, on November 28, 1927. He attended public schools, graduated from John Adams High School in 1945, then attended Atlantic Union College, graduating in 1949. There, he met Olive Youngberg, and they married August 28, 1949. Ari received his MA (1951) and his PhD (1958) from Columbia University. He was an instructor and assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso (1956-58), an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and full professor at Penn State (1958-68), and a full professor at Brooklyn College (1968-98), where he was chairman of the history department from 1968-74. He was also a Guggenheim fellow (1965-66) and the visiting George Bancroft professor of American history at the University of Gottingen, Germany (1991-92). Ari had a distinguished publishing career. He made a splash in 1960 with a tongue-in-cheek article in the Wisconsin Magazine of History positing that scholars had overlooked the true cause of the Civil War: the burgeoning popularity of beards, which had made Northerners and Southerners alike more aggressive. His first book was "Outlawing the Spoils: A History of the Civil Service Reform Movement, 1865-1883" (1961). He co-authored "The Enterprising Colonials: Society on the Eve of the Revolution (with William S. Sachs, 1965), "A History of the ICC: From Panacea to Palliative" (with Olive Hoogenboom, 1976) and "A History of Pennsylvania" (with Phillip S. Klein, 1973). He wrote two defining books on Rutherford B. Hayes: "The Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes" (1988) and "Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President" (1995; Ohioana Book Award, 1996). He continued to be a productive scholar after his retirement, publishing "Rutherford B. Hayes: One of the Good Colonels" (1999) and "Gustavus Vasa Fox of the Union Navy: A Biography" (2008). In the past few years, he has worked with his wife, Olive, on her book, "Washington Women: The Woodbury Sisters," giving her the same assistance that she had given him on a number of his books. They finished revisions shortly before his death. He is survived by his wife, Olive; his children, Lynn, Ari Jr. and Jan; his granddaughters, Amelia, Charlotte, and Calliope, and countless friends. His sister, Clara, predeceased him. A memorial service will be held November 8 at 2pm at the First Unitarian Church, 116 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn, where he was a member of the choir for over 30 years. Wake Service and Visiting Hours Tuesday, October 28, 6-9pm at Raccuglia & Son Funeral Home Inc., 321-323 Court Street, Brooklyn. 718-855-7737.
Published in New York Times on Oct. 28, 2014.