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The following is Mr. Kurutz’s introduction to this very special issue:
This special memorial issue of the Bulletin is devoted to the considerable
contributions of Dr. Kevin O. Starr to the California State Library when
he served as State Librarian from 1994 to 2004. In addition, our generous
contributing authors have also illuminated his passionate love of California’s
many and diverse libraries and his brilliant analysis of the history
and literature of this beautiful but complex land. When Dr. Starr suddenly
passed away on January 14, 2017, the library, history, and journalism world
was stunned and deeply saddened. In response, newspapers, newsletters,
and social media sites up and down the state carried the sad news. This
native son of California touched so many lives. So many have rightly called
Dr. Starr California’s greatest historian, and he will be recalled as a scholar
who can never be replaced.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to his wife Sheila Starr for so
graciously giving us permission to create this publication and for supplying
us with many of the photographs that grace these pages. Marianne Hinckle,
the designer and printer of the Bohemian Club’s Library Notes that Dr. Starr
edited, provided the Foundation with digital files of the order of service
that she so touchingly designed for the Mass of the Resurrection held at
St. Ignatius Church on the campus of the University of San Francisco.
In addition, Dr. C. L. Max Nikias, President of the University of Southern
California; Dr. William Deverell of the Huntington-University of Southern
California Institute on California and the West, and attorney and State
Library donor Michael S. Bernick are to be thanked for their stirring insights.
Three key State Library staff members, Cameron Robertson, Andrew St.
Mary, and Mattie Taormina wrote moving and beautiful tributes to Dr. Starr.
Last, Meredith Cruse, Director of Video and Photographic Communications
at the University of Southern California generously supplied several terrific
photographs of Dr. Starr.
– Gary F. Kurutz