In Memoriam: Albert Greenberg, Class of 1948
Albert Greenberg, a 1948 graduate of the School of Art, passed away on July 5. He and his wife, the late Marilyn Hoffner, were two of Cooper's most devoted alumni, with Marilyn acting as the school's Director of Alumni Relations and Development, and starting in 1997, the Executive Director for Institutional Advancement, while Albert led the Cooper Union Alumni Association, served as an alumni trustee, chaired the CUAA Nominating Committee, and was a member of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Committee.
A native New Yorker, Albert Greenberg grew up in a musical family, the son of Mary Miller and Samuel Greenberg, a well-dressed haberdasher. As he boy he adored the Dodgers and illustrated games as he'd listen to them on the radio. After attending The Cooper Union for one semester, Al joined the Air Corps and flew 35 missions over Germany as a bombardier on a B-17. He kept a detailed record of his experiences—from the terrifying to the mundane. (Breakfast on mission days included fresh eggs, powdered eggs on days when you weren't in combat.)
He returned to study art at Cooper where he met Marilyn, his wife of almost 60 years. He had a storied career as a graphic designer and was founding Art Director of GQ magazine where he spared no trouble or expense to create arresting images—from Masai warriors dressed in tuxedo jackets to Cuban revolutionaries in Burberry raincoats. After 13 years, he joined the advertising firm of Wells Rich Greene where his clients included the New York State Lottery and the "I Love New York" campaign. After nine years in advertising, he became the Director of Graphic Design at the Parsons School of Design. Mr. Greenberg led a two-year series called “Design Talk” at The Cooper Union where he interviewed the great art directors of the time.
Mr. Greenberg was awarded the 2006 CUAA Augustus Saint-Gaudens Medal, and received copious honors from the Type Directors Club, AIGA, Graphis, and the Society of Illustrators as well as the gold medal and distinctive merit awards from the Art Directors Club of New York. He was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.
He is survived by his daughter Doren Helterline and his son Peter Cooper Greenberg, as well as three grandchildren, Travis, Caitlin, and Mirella.