Poet Michael Silverstein Dead at 75

Michael Silverstein, investigative poet for The Progressive Populist, died of cancer near his home in Philadelphia on Sept. 27. He was a writer, editor, poet, humorist, social commentator and humanitarian

Mike was born on July 10, 1941, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and might have stayed there had he not been inducted into the Army. He served honorably as a military policeman in West Germany, for which he remained proud the rest of his life. Upon discharge, he went on to live in a lighthouse in Spain, in London, New York again, and Boston, before finding his home in Philadelphia. His varied career included serving as a senior editor of Bloomberg News and writing a dozen books, serious and comic, fiction and non-fiction, in poetry and prose, on a variety of subjects ranging from politics, to the financial derivatives market, to the environment, to solar energy, to parking ticketing. His work included three comic novels and one alternative history novel. Hundreds of his articles and op-ed pieces appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Constitution and Christian Science Monitor. He was a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Boston Phoenix and a regular commentator on National Public Radio. Favorable reviews of his writing appeared in media such as the New York Post, the Washington Post, USA Today and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He was known for his wry humor which managed to find the absurd in every situation, and for his gentle spirit which belied his towering frame and deep, sonorous voice. He was an original thinker — one of the first people to see the potential of solar energy and one of the first to see economic opportunities in sustainable green business. He was almost certainly the only person to ever covet the title “America’s Best-Loved Financial Poet.” But, he was always more interested in promoting good ideas than in personal advancement. So he would move on to something new whenever he saw that others were catching on, never sticking around long enough to take credit or cash in.

His final book was his entertaining personal memoir, Gorilla Warfare Against the Bureaucratic State, Confessions of a Lefty Libertarian.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Kay Wood, his son Jonathan Silverstein and his daughter-in-law Paula Herrmann. His family wishes to express their gratitude for the excellent care he received in his final days at the Philadelphia VA Hospice Facility.

From The Progressive Populist, November 1, 2016


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