RBS Mourns the Loss of William S. Reese
We were very saddened to learn of the death this morning of William S. Reese, longtime proprietor of the William Reese Company and a great friend to Rare Book School.
Bill co-taught two Rare Book School courses, both with George A. Miles: “Western Americana” in 1986 and 1987, and “American Historical Bibliography” in 1989, 1990, and 1993. He also delivered four Rare Book School evening lectures, including the 2000 Sol M. Malkin Lecture and the 600th RBS lecture, in 2016:
- “Some Americana Booksellers: Peter Decker, the Eberstadts, and Wright Howes” (11 July 1991, Lecture 318)
- “Collecting Herman Melville” (5 July 1993, Lecture 334)
- “Paul Mellon as a Collector of Americana and Virginiana” (24 July 2000, Lecture 443; the Sol. M. Malkin Lecture)
- “Starting Out: My Early Days as a Rare Book Dealer” (15 June 2016, Lecture 600)
Rare Book School was one of the original beneficiaries of the Reese Fellowships in the Print Culture of the Americas, established in 1998. Over the intervening years, this fellowship has enriched our School each summer with new talent. Bill’s steadfast financial support of RBS and many other institutions will long be remembered with gratitude.
“Bill was an important friend to many, quick to offer good counsel and marvelous stories,” said RBS Executive Director Michael Suarez. “With Bill in the room, laughter was always likely. He will be remembered not only for his intellectual brilliance, but also for his many kindnesses, and the radiance of his ever-generous personality.”
His many friends here at RBS send our deepest condolences to Bill’s family, friends, and colleagues.