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Kenneth Brecher

(Illinois & New College 1967) (4 October 1945 - 11 December 2023)

In a single lifetime, Ken Brecher lived many lives.

The longtime president of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Brecher also spent more than a decade leading the Sundance Institute and served as associate artistic director of the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles.

Each role provided him the opportunity to touch people’s lives and embrace their mutual humanity, an ambition that sprang from his studies as a cultural anthropologist, according to those who knew him.

Among those whose work and lives reflect his influence is journalist Susan Orlean, who credits Brecher with inspiring her 2018 bestseller, “The Library Book,” about the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Library. Brecher had reached out to Orlean after she moved to L.A. and led her on a tour of the historic library in downtown Los Angeles, telling her the story of the famous fire that planted the seed for her book.

“He was perhaps the most luminous, vibrant person I’ve ever known,”...

Read the full obituary here.