Jay F. Rosenberg
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1942 - 2008
Prof. Jay F. Rosenberg, 65, died Thursday, February 21, 2008 at his home in Chapel Hill. He leaves a remarkable legacy of academic achievement, having earned a number of prestigious fellowships during his career, including awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His extraordinary intellect also led him to become a champion on the nationally-syndicated quiz show Jeopardy, making him a local celebrity in the Triangle area. He made repeat appearances as a returning champion, most recently in 2005.
Prof. Rosenberg was born in Chicago, son of the late Sandor and Laura Fried Rosenberg. He showed his academic prowess from an early age, winning both a General Motors National Scholarship and a National Merit Scholarship during his senior year in high school. He attended Reed College in Portland, OR, where he earned a B.A. in philosophy and embarked on a lifetime pursuit of knowledge.
While at Reed, Prof. Rosenberg published The Impoverished Students' Guide to Cookery, Drinkery and Housekeepery, which became a cult hit among college students nationwide and sold more than 100,000 copies in the 1970s. The cookbook also earned the scholar his first television appearance, on the game show To Tell the Truth.
He earned a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, having studied under Wilfrid Sellars, and joined the Philosophy Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1966. Prof. Rosenberg served as department chair from 1984 to 1989 and was awarded the Taylor Grandy Professorship in 1987.
Prof. Rosenberg published more than 80 articles and ten books in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and history of philosophy. His textbook The Practice of Philosophy is used at universities nationwide.
Upon first arriving at UNC, Rosenberg joined the Chapel Hill International Folk Dance Club. He became a staple at the group's weekly gatherings for the next 40 years.
He also traveled the globe as an invited speaker at dozens of universities throughout Europe. He was twice named a Research Fellow of the Zentrum fur interdisziplinare Forschung in Bielefeld, Germany, where he met his second wife, Regina, whom he married in 1980. He retired in 2007, and a Festschrift in his honor is currently in preparation.
He is survived by his wife, Regina Faltin Rosenberg; daughter, Leslie J. Thompson and her husband, Craig Thompson of Lewisville, TX; son, Glen Faltin and his wife, Lynn Kickery Faltin of Charlotte; granddaughter, Elena Faltin; his brother, Charles Rosenberg and his wife, Carol of South Bend, IN.
He was preceded in death by his son, Joshua Rosenberg.
A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 15, 2008 at Extraordinary Ventures, 200 South Elliott Road, Chapel Hill 27514 www.extraordinaryventures.org
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jay Rosenberg Cookbook Scholarship, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202. The cookbook can also be ordered online at www.bookstore.reed.edu
Published in The News & Observer on Mar. 2, 2008.
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