Suzanne Wasserman, 60

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

Suzanne Wasserman

Suzanne (Suzy) Wasserman, a Chicago-born New York historian, passed away on Monday, June 26, in Manhattan. She was 60.

Wasserman was born on May 26, 1957, to Dr. Edward a psychoanalyst, and Eileen Wasserman, longtime residents of Hyde Park and Kenwood and political activists.

Wasserman, attended Shoesmith Elementary School, 1330 E. 50th St., and Louis Wirth Experimental School, 4959 S. Blackstone Ave., now known as the Kenwood Academic Center, and Kenwood High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.

Her childhood home in Kenwood, where her parents lived for 28 years, was the epicenter for the neighborhood and political gatherings.

Wasserman’s wedding was one of many celebrations that was held in the backyard.

Growing up in Hyde Park and Chicago ignited her passion for history, where she discovered the stories of immigrants, radical politics, colorful neighborhoods, and inspiring characters.

Her interest in history laid the groundwork for what she later became: a storyteller, filmmaker, and expert in personal narrative.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin and earned her Ph.D. from New York University.

Wasserman worked alongside director Ron Howard as a historical consultant for the film Cinderella Man, in which she provided details about Depression-era living conditions in New York City.

Over the span of her career, she received many accolades and honors.
She earned support and acclaim from filmmaker John Sayles, the George Soros Foundation and Women Make Films. Her films aired at more than 50 film festivals and on PBS’ Independent Lens.

Her final film was to focus on children of psychoanalysts, entitled Children and Their Discontent.

According to her family, she was in the process of interviewing many in Hyde Park and Chicago who would have been subjects of the film.

Chicago is home to the Psychoanalytic Institute, where her father and others friends and relatives received their training.

She is survived by her husband, David Stern, son Raphael Stern, and sisters, Tina, Nadine and Stephanie Wasserman.

t.hill@hpherald.com