Henry-Russell Hitchcock, who died on February 19, 1987, at the age of eighty-three, was the outstanding historian of modern architecture; for Americans particularly, he virtually established the field which he dominated for so long. Although he wrote on many other subjects—his last books, in fact, dealt with German Renaissance and rococo architecture and with Dutch brick-gabled architecture—it is as the longtime dean of the history of modern architecture that he will be remembered.

Hitchcock looked the part of his commanding professional role. He was tall, portly, dapper, with a leonine head and, in later years, a clipped beard in the manner of Freud, whom he came vaguely to resemble. Typically, he held forth in gatherings in a stentorian voice; his wisdom and a wealth of detailed information inevitably discouraged interruption. A jovian wit, a delight in gossip, and a hearty appetite for food, drink, and sociability...

 
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