Richard T Herzog

Major Richard Thorburn Herzog (ret.), Ph.D., died back in January; I just heard about it from a round-robin email that some of our classmates from Bowdoin were circulating. Zog was one of the legendary figures of the fraternity to which we both belonged at Bowdoin College, the now-defunct Alpha Rho Upsilon (founded with Greek initials to correspond to “All Races United”) (we were PC before PC was a label).
Zog didn’t leave much of a trace on the Web, so I’m tracing his name on the wet concrete of my blog, here. Maybe someone will come across it and leave a reminiscence, or just remember him fondly, or wish they did. In the years since we graduated, Zog found a home in the Episcopal Church; speaking as a friend and as a priest, I offer the words from the prayerbook:

He that raised up Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in us.
In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother Richard…. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make his face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him, the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and grant him peace.

And speaking as a drinking buddy, I will lift a glass to Zog, to Charles Paisley, to the hockey teams of the U.S. Olmpic Team 1976 and of Bowdoin College, and to friends absent and ever-present.

13 thoughts on “Richard T Herzog

  1. I’m reposting the obituary from the Bowdoin alumni magazine here, for ease of searching and finding; if someone from Bowdoin wants to insist that I remove it, they’re welcome to ask.


    Richard Thorburn Herzog ’78 died on January 10, 2008, in Elgin, S.C. Born on October 4, 1956, in North Kingstown, R.I., he prepared for college at Cranston West High School and became a member of Alpha Rho Upsilon Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation cum laude, he worked for Bankers Trust in New York City. He joined the U.S.Army and served in the 82nd Airborne Division and as a tank company commander. He received many honors, including the Master Parachutist Badge, Armor Associations Order of St. George Medallion, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and a decoration from the Italian government for rescuing an Italian soldier from a minefield. He earned a master of arts degree in 1991 and a Ph.D. degree in history in 1995 from Florida State University. He taught history for two years at the U.S.Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. In 1996, he completed a tour of duty as a United Nations military observer in Iraq and Kuwait. He retired from the Army in 1999 as a major. He then taught American history at the University of South Carolina and was a government contractor for five years with Pulua Electronics, teaching combat training with the National Guard. He was a member of the National Rifle Association. He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Camden, S.C. He is survived by his wife, Galina Inina Herzog, whom he married in 1998; a daughter, Ingrid E. Herzog; a sister, Jeanie C. Herzog of Westerly, R.I.; and a brother, James H. Herzog, Jr. of Amherst, N.H.

  2. Greetings, AKMA. I, too, have fond memories of Zog. I also have many photos of him. His death came as a great shock to me. Anyway, how are you? I live in NYC and am still a photographer, with digital cameras and all. I am still in touch with John Barnhart and Charles Kotsonis. I hope that life is treating you well. All the best, ST.

  3. Oh, Tuck! Great to hear from you — however saddening the cause of our reconnecting.
    I’m in Princeton for the year, and my foster-daughter lives in NYC. We should get together someday. I’ve probed the Web for evidence of you in the past, but always struck out.
    I passed your email address along to John Dennis, who’s quarterbacking the communication from ARU alums. You’ll probably be getting a whopper of an email sometime soon.

  4. I was shocked when I read about Zog – he was truly one of a kind. I remember games of Thumper and his love of RI. God must have needed a loud soul in heaven!

  5. I was very sorry to read of Rick’s death in the Alumni magazine. He was a year behind me at Bowdoin. Although I didn’t know him very well, he always came across as a very bright, decent and fine person. It is moving to read of the things to which Rick dedicated his life. If life is God’s gift to us, and how we live that life is our return to God, Rick used his talents in ways that must have pleased God.

  6. Bless you, dear folks, for remembering my brother so kindly. His death was very hard. He was indeed a very good, honorable, crazed soul:) and I miss him with every fiber of my being.

    His little sister,


    p.s. tucker? i hope your pics showed him in total joy as he thought of bowdoin as the happiest times of his life…well, along side his pics of his beloved daughter Ingrid, the great love of his life. thank you, so much.

    pps. i remember parents’ weekend so fondly at bowdoin. i was 12=16 then and lobster was never so sweet!

    rich is with our beloved mom again and i am sure he watches after our red sox with vigor! he would have felt so blessed to know you were thinking of him.

  7. I knew Doc Herzog from taking night classes at Fort Jackson. He was my favorite teacher and the reason I choose History as my major. The first class of his I took was American Military Experience. I was blown away by his ability to draw out the battles and lecture the facts all from memory. I remember during his US History class and the Red Soxs where behind the Yankees in the playoffs. He said never lose faith.. he also said he’d buy the entire class a round of beers if the Red Soxs one the World Series. I found this while I was trying to track down his email address. I am currently deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and I wanted to talk soldier talk with him. He was a true Patriot and a great teacher! He has had an impact on my life and my professional development as a soldier, he will be missed.

  8. Rich was a great cousin. How I remember him at Mimi & Pa house, so many happy days. He is not alone, he is with my Dad, Uncle Andy, two great warriors. Peace be with you my freind, I miss you.

    Lesley Andersen Riley

  9. Rick and I were platoon leaders together as Second Lieutenants in the 82d Airborne Division from 1982-1984. We spent many a night in the field training and many in the Officer’s club where Rick entertained us all with his quick wit and charm and almost manic ability to do many different accents and impressions. I also served with Rick at West Point in the Department of History when we were Majors from 91-93 and we shared an office where there was always laughter. My wife and I were laughing and talking about some of Rick’s exploits last night when we decided to google him and were sad to learn of his death. Rick had a brilliant mind and great wit and he used them both creatively. I will miss you Rick. My wife and I drank a toast to your memory tonight and we shared several laughs reminiscing.

  10. Rick was a tremendous Historian and teacher. He was funny, crisp in his teaching style and enjoyed a good discussion. We went to Grad School together and taught at West Point as well. His students really enjoyed his wit and verve.

  11. I knew Doc Herzog at West Point… he was a mentor. I memorized “If” by Kipling because of him, which has gotten me through life. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to hear of his death; especially in today’s information age. Doc and I were also drinking buddies after I graduated, and yes, he did have a great mind. RIP Doc, you warrior. You touched so many lives. ….

  12. Hello to all and thank you so much for this blog. It is Richard’s and my 40th year reunion from Cranston West High School this summer. Very sadly, Richard’s name was on the list of departed classmates. I immediately started searching the internet for information on my friend.

    Richard and I hung out and studied together. I remember his looks, his quirkiness, his humor, his BRAINS, and most certainly his friendship.

    You are missed.

    Audrey Elman

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