Jack Hirschman dies at 87. Marxist poet, Communist, Cafe Trieste fixture

San Francisco has lost an original. I used to see Jack Hirschman frequently at Cafe Trieste where I spent time sipping a cappuccino while reading a book or writing in my journal. Jack  an integral piece of the North Beach ambience, was known by every local. His passing is a sad day for San Francisco. His memory will live on.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 8.22.2021

Jack Hirschman, a scholar and translator in nine languages who threw over a career as a college professor for the life of a proletarian North Beach poet, died Sunday at his home on Union Street in San Francisco.

A former San Francisco poet laureate, Hirschman enjoyed a publishing career that lasted more than 50 years and more than 100 volumes, though half of them were translations.

“The most important thing as a poet is that I worked for the Communist movement for 45 years, and the new class of impoverished and homeless people,” he said in a 2018 interview to inform this obituary, while laying on his double bed on the fourth floor of a walk-up, overlooking Columbus Avenue.

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Mishana Hosseinioun with Jack Hirischman. A  Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford. She is a Drafter with the International Convention on Human Rights Research Project within the Institute for Global Challenges and the Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

With his push-broom mustache, weathered face, wild hair and outlandish hat, Hirschman was what you looked for in a bohemian, and he lived the part in a single room in the old hotel above Caffe Trieste. Even after marriage upgraded him to a cottage behind an apartment house, Hirschman still came to write every day in his room.