Funeral Details

Bernard Allen Weisberger, PhD

August 15, 1922 - April 9, 2024


Date and Time

Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 2:00 PM


Chicago Jewish Funerals
Skokie Chapel
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60077
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Rabbi Paul Saiger


Rosehill Cemetery
5800 North Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60660
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Lise Weisberger and Malcolm Rich Residence
5200 Oakton Street, Unit 407
Skokie, Illinois 60077
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Thursday 7:30PM - 9:00PM
Friday 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Wednesday 10:00AM – 11:30AM

Memorial Contributions

Mikva Challenge
200 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604


The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
4411 North Ravenswood Avenue, Suite 300
Chicago IL 60640


Distinguished Professor, author of 20 books and over 100 articles on American History. Beloved husband of Rita Mendelsohn, devoted father of Jonathan (Deborah Mudd Weisberger) of Brevard, North Carolina: Dr. Lise Weisberger (Malcolm Rich) of Skokie, Illinois; and Beth Weisberger (Tim Fishbaugh) of Lakewood, Colorado; loving grandfather of Abigail, Miriam and Rebecca Rich, Leo Weisberger and Sidney Lucas, and Leah Fishbaugh. Service Thursday, 2:00PM at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Blvd (at Niles Center Road), Skokie. Interment, Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mikva Challenge 200 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604,, or The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, 4411 N Ravenswood Ave, Ste 300, Chicago IL 60640, To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,

Bernie had an immensely distinguished scholarly career, becoming a celebrated scholar, teacher, and public intellectual. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1950 under the supervision of the prominent scholar of the Civil War Era Avery Craven—whose racist work Bernie ultimately went on to contest. A beloved teacher, Bernie gained lifelong allegiance from a legion of students through positions at Swarthmore, Antioch, Wayne State, the University of Chicago, Rochester, and Vassar. Yet Bernie chafed at university pieties and, above all wishing to write, he eventually left academe to concentrate on his scholarly work as well as on public writing (especially for American Heritage magazine). Bernie ultimately wrote or edited more than twenty books on subjects ranging from Civil War reporters, Protestant religious revivalism, General Motors, the progressive La Follette family of Wisconsin, and finally 2006’s When Chicago Ruled Baseball: The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906. Bernie’s political reflections, which continued until he reached the age of 95, were full of highly insightful connections between past and present--not to mention the fire for progressive social justice that he believed to be the true foundation of American history. He was arguably proudest of his intellectual partnerships with some of the country’s most influential cultural figures, particularly Bill Moyers and Ken Burns, as they worked to shape what Bernie fervently believed to be a common, unifying American Story. Throughout, Bernie wrote with grace, flair, and an exquisitely humane sensibility. With considerable justification, in 2006 the History News Network named Bernie one of its distinguished “History Doyens.”
- Robert Johnston, PhD


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To Lise, Beth and Jon, I met your Dad at the same time as Lise and I met( in 5th grade) and I found him to be a captivating adult, who never talked down to us. When Bernie came to teach at Vassar in my junior or senior year(and yes, I was a History major!) I signed up for his course in the American immigrant experience. Over the years, Bernie and I exchanged multiple letters and we spent a great day together in Chicago in 2010 or so, taking a river trip to view Chicago's architectural treasures. I bring condolences from other Vassar students who also loved him, not the least among them being Lenny Steinhorn, Class of 1977. I am so glad you had him with you for as long as you did and it is my hope that all memories of him will be a blessing. Cathy Agnello, Wales Hollow, NY

Cathy Agnello
April 11, 2024
I met Bernie when he was 101 years old and his life was simple. His room was a testament to his greatness as a humanitarian, collaborator, author and runner. When words failed him, he retained a sense of joy. He could laugh and sing even when the thoughts he wanted to share could not be reeled in from his vast knowledge base and experience. Bernie made a wonderful impression all the way to end of his life here. Thank you!

Vicki Browne
April 11, 2024