Richard Sachs, Columbia College '49, will read from his memoir of a closeted life in a tumultuous world of the 1940s and the decades following. He will read about his sheltered, panicky life during the Great Depression; how as a child and an adult, always anxious and terrified of discovery, he personalized the world tragedies of violence, war and poverty; his years of clandestine, lonely, anonymous sex; the fictitious safety of marriage, children and a family business; and finally, slowly emerging from the closet at 58, he will read about his second, happy marriage to the man he loves. Richard will be interviewed by prominent author-journalist Eric Marcus. Dean Jeffrey Peck of the CUNY Weissman School of Arts and Sciences will moderate the Q&A program.
A graduate of Columbia College Class of 1949, Richard Sachs is deeply engaged in the life of New York City and State through his commitments in education, community and business. From 1956 until 2004, Richard held various roles at the New School, including Trustee (and Life Trustee). For over 30 years, Richard taught courses on social change, participatory democracy, politics, and community involvement. In 1964, he was appointed chair of the NY State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights which published landmark reports on discrimination in the NY building trades, hospitals, and public education. He has been a member of many civic, political, educational, civil rights, and business organizations, including Manhattan Community Board Five and the Boards of Brooklyn Museum, New York Urban League, and Americans for Democratic Action. He is currently the President & CEO of Richard Sachs Interiors, Inc., and Business Community Relations, a community relations, public policy and external affairs advisory and consulting firm. He has served as the president of the Eleanor Roosevelt Society of the National Workrights Institute, an organization dedicated to bringing human rights to the American workplace. In additional to his memoir, Richard will complete a book on the lives of 20th-century civil libertarians.
Eric Marcus is the author of several books, including the award-winning Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian& Gay Equal Rights; Why Suicide?; and Is It A Choice? He is also co-author of Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Times best-selling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. He is currently working with professional soccer player Robbie Rogers on his autobiography,Coming Out to Play, which will be published by Penguin Books in November 2014. In addition, Eric has written articles and columns for the NY Times, NY Daily News, NY Post, Newsweek, and the NJ Star-Ledger. Eric is a former associate producer for both “Good Morning America” and CBS Morning News. He is a graduate of Vassar College and earned his master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.