Saluting Howard Wolpe ’60

Hearing of Howard Wolpe’s death brings to mind the few times when our separate lives crossed, the first of which was when I was chosen over him as the Oregon candidate for the Rhodes Scholar competition in the fall of 1959. I was myself defeated in the final round. When Bill Clinton became president, many years later, I could not help wondering if a victory by Howard back then would have eventually led him to the White House! Having grown up in Washington, D.C., well aware of the intellectual vacuity of most elected officials, it was a matter of considerable pride for me when my Reed classmate was elected to Congress and continued to serve for so many terms. I was happy to contribute to his many campaigns and attend events in his honor, including during his unsuccessful run for governor of Michigan. On election night in that contest, I joined a small band of loyal supporters in New York for what we hoped would be a celebration of political liberalism. Unfortunately, Howard’s defeat seemed a dismal sign of where the country was heading. Howard’s public service continued after he left Congress and it was always a pleasure to read about his current activities in the newspapers.

—William Bernhardt ’60

New York, New York