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Martin Heyman Rubin

In Memoriam Condolences

Martin Heyman Rubin In Memoriam
1949 - 2017 Martin Heyman Rubin 1949-2017 Son of Pearl and Senator Leslie Rubin of South Africa; brother of Neville. Born in Cape Town, raised in Ghana, Northern Ireland, London, and Washington D.C. Yale, BA, summa cum laude, 1971; University of Virginia, MA, 1972; PhD (English), 1976. While at Yale, he met fellow-student Merle Roth; they married in 1972 which began a life-long love affair. So close and devoted to each other, they often claimed to live out of each other's pockets. In 1975, Martin joined the English Department at CalTech. He continued his scholarly research and is well known for his book on the life of Gertrude Millin, a South African feminist and activist against apartheid. Merle began a 30-year career as a freelance writer and highly successful book critic. She regularly contributed to the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Washington Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. In addition to his scholarly work, Martin was also a highly successful book critic, and, when his beloved Merle died of cancer in 2006, he assumed many of her assignments to the same newspapers. He spoke of Merle often and fondly. Her death was a burden he bore until his last day. To know either of them was to know the other. A master of belles lettres and history, Martin would entertain his friends over dinners which could last hours at a time. A regular at the Athenaeum at CalTech where he served multiple years on the food committee, he was an irrepressible raconteur and gourmet at table. He was on the CalTech campus, on his way to the Athenaeum, when he suffered a massive heart attack and could not be revived. His friends and family, both new and old, loved Martin for his warm nature, devotion to friends, and for his undying love for Merle. His gentle presence, wit, and warmth will be missed. Memorial Service pending.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 1, 2017
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