Sad News: Saul Touster

Dec. 20, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share the sad news of the passing on December 7 of Professor Emeritus of American Studies and Legal Studies, Saul Touster, at the age of 93.  Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was a son of the late Ben and Bertha (Landau) Touster and was the beloved husband of Irene Tayler. As Ensign in the U.S. Navy, Prof. Touster proudly served in the South Pacific Theater during WWII. 

Saul Touster arrived at Brandeis as a part-time visiting professor in the Legal Studies Department in 1979. In 1982, Saul Touster was named the Joseph M. Proskauer Professor in Law and Social Welfare at Brandeis. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Professor Touster had already acquired extensive experience in the legal teaching profession. Having received his J.D. in 1948 from Harvard Law School - Harvard also being his undergraduate alma mater, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1946 - Touster entered the general practice of law in New York City. In 1955, he began his teaching career as a Professor of Law at the SUNY at Buffalo School of Law. Touster taught for over twenty years in the SUNY and CUNY systems.

Under Professor Touster's leadership he was a key figure in the founding and development at Brandeis of the Legal Studies Program. Beyond his positions as legal professor and Director of the Legal Studies Program, Touster was also very active in the general administration of Brandeis University. During his years at Brandeis, Professor Touster served as the Director of the Humanities and the Professions Program and as Chairman of the Academic Planning Committee. During the years 1990-1991 Professor Touster served as Counselor to the President while Stuart Altman served as Interim President. 

He was also known for his poetic work and taught a course on 19th century poetry at Brandeis. His colleague Steve Whitefield recalls him as a, “thoughtful, contemplative and congenial colleague who excelled in small classes and supervising senior theses.” He retired from Brandeis in 1993. After his retirement he undertook a study of the Holocaust and discovered significant documents that became the basis for A Survivors' Haggadah and the Treatment of Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust, 1945-1948: Dilemmas of Law, Care and Bureaucracy also co-authored by Yosef Dov Sheinson. Saul continued writing and publishing poetry in a variety of magazines, including Poetry magazine and published the collection Still Lives and Other Lives.

Saul was a very valued member of the Brandeis community over many decades and he will be greatly missed.  


Lisa Lynch