Copyright © 2012 Lisa Harbatkin
Irving Adler died September 22, 2012 at 99.
Math teacher, mathematician, children’s and adult book author, fighter for civil liberties, Adler was among the first teachers called in for questioning by Saul Moskoff, in January 1952. He was suspended later that year, and forced out in 1954. Adler was the lead plaintiff in the first case to challenge the Feinberg Law. The teachers won in New York’s Supreme Court, but lost in the higher state courts, and in the United States Supreme Court. Following the Court reversal of that decision in 1967, Adler was among the teachers who sued for reinstatement and restoration of salary and/or pension rights. They won.
Adler’s scientific journal papers on Fibonacci numbers helped revive interest in studying the arrangement of plant spirals in Fibonacci sequences. Some of my own clearest memories of the time are of my parents and their friends, and many others in the Teachers Union, expressing their admiration for Adler and the books he was writing and publishing, even as the investigations revved up and more teachers were dismissed.
The video clips page at www.dreamersandfighters.com has two clips of Adler (as well as clips of other teachers), and you can read him in his own words at http://www.dreamersandfighters.com/adler/inter_adler.aspx.