By Arthur Z. Schwartz
Herman Gerson, father of former City Council Member Alan Gerson, died on August 19 at 103. He is someone whom we should all remember.
Herman helped build the Village Independent Democrats in the 1960s when it challenged the political dynasty of Carmine DeSapio and Tammany Hall. In the 1970s he was elected Democratic District leader and served nearly 10 years. Herman, a chemist, was married to Sophie Gerson, a teacher who served on our local School Board for decades. Herman and Sophie moved into 505 LaGuardia Place in 1967, a middle-income co-op which still serves as a haven for the middle class in the Village. He was President of the co-op Board for many years.
I met Herman Gerson when I first ran for District Leader in 1995. He always had a smile, and was vigorous—and handed out campaign literature—well into his 90s. He had a quiet dignity; I always felt like I was doing something right when he and I were on the same side.