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John Herbert Hamsher

1938 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
John Herbert Hamsher Obituary
June 16, 1938 - October 26, 2016 John Herbert Hamsher, affectionately called Herb, passed away on Wednesday, October 26th from complications with melanoma. He was 78 years old. His passing was peaceful, and the care he received from all at Cedars-Sinai was loving and supportive. Herb was born in Davenport, Iowa on June 16, 1938 to Maxine and John Hamsher. After getting his Ph.D. in clinical psychology he became a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester. After that, he moved to Temple University where he was an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Services until 1980. During his tenure as a professor, Herb had an active private psychotherapy practice, conducted personal growth seminars, and consulted with business leaders and multinational corporations. It was also at this time that he worked with John Denver on his philanthropic activities, particularly assisting with John's service on The President's Commission on World Hunger as well as building The Windstar Foundation, his vehicle for impacting on national and world issues. It was through this relationship that Herb moved to Aspen, Colorado, which became his home base and where he lived with his husband, Jonathan Stoller for 33 years. When AIDS began to decimate the gay community, Herb committed himself to fight the pandemic, and worked to add to the strength, unity, and spiritual base of the LGBTQ community. Herb was also deeply involved in bringing to prominence POINT Foundation, the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. He served for years on its Board of Directors and on the Emeritus Board. Herb was a champion of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He was also an avid supporter of FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation), a Quaker lobbying organization in Washington, D.C. Herb took his unique and brilliant insights to Hollywood, managing Judith Light's career as well as producing a number of movies for television, and the feature film, "Save Me." Herb's reach extends far and wide. His legacy lives on in anyone who knew him, or was ever in his presence, even briefly. His succession continues in those he inspired and loved. Herb is survived by his husband, Jonathan Stoller, and his chosen family, Judith Light and Robert Desiderio, and his brother Richard. In honor of Herb, donations can be made to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, FCNL, and POINT Foundation.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, 2016
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