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Class of June 1955

from ROGER HERST’s website      May 2013

A native son of San Francisco, Roger Herst has written nine novels, a series of scholarly articles and lectured extensively in academic and non-academic circles. He is an ordained Reform Rabbi with a doctorate in Middle Eastern History, holding undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew Union College. His home for the past 30 years has been Washington, DC where he lives with his physician wife. A son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons reside in Seattle.

When writing and delivering sermons from the pulpit Roger discovered a curious fact about his congregants. A small number were moved by spiritual messages and a somewhat larger number by sermons filled with amusing facts. But almost all seemed focused on the stories and tales he enjoyed telling. This experience caused him to develop a passion for stories, learning how they were most successfully constructed and best delivered. His novels (including Destiny’s Children and Status 1SQ) are what he calls “sustained stories,” generally a series of episodes which resolve toward a climatic ending that is not obvious to the reader as the episodes unfold.

Roger approaches his hobbies with the same passion he devotes to his novels. Once a collegiate tennis player at Berkeley, he continues to hone his game both competitively and non-competitively. His musician/composer father bequeathed to him a 110 year old Steinway along with the ability to write music and play the piano by ear. Outdoor time is spent jogging along the C&O Canal flanking the Potomac River and fly-fishing wherever a trout or bass might be raised. Between these pleasures he loves to curl up with a good old-fashioned novel that sports a robust plot and believable characters. In non-fiction his interests tend toward history and science. For over forty years he has devoured both the New York Review of Books and Scientific American from cover to cover.