The American Ethical Union mourns the death of Dr. Howard B. Radest, longtime Ethical Culture Leader and receiver of the 2011 Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award. He passed on the evening of Saturday, October 11. Howard was a graduate of Columbia University whose doctoral dissertation was about the educational philosophy of the founder of Ethical Culture, Felix Adler.
Howard lived a life of Humanism and was actively involved with the Ethical Culture Movement for over seven decades. Following graduation, he became the founding Leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County from 1956-1963. He was later the Executive Director of the American Ethical Union, the national federation of Ethical Societies, and one of the Presidents of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. During his tenure as Executive Director his first book, “Toward Common Ground: The Story of the Ethical Societies in the United States,” was published. He continued to write several books and articles on humanism, ethics, and Ethical Culture.
Howard served as Director of the Ethical Culture Schools, founded the Moral Education Center at Columbia University, was a founder and Dean of the Humanist Institute, a lecturer with Highlands Institute in North Carolina, a professor of medical ethics at South Carolina University, a senior fellow with the Institute for Humanist Studies, and Chairman of the Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Perhaps no other person has made a greater contribution to building and sustaining institutions within Ethical Culture and the Humanist world over the past half-century. All of us who cherish Ethical Culture are incalculably in his debt. Howard is survived by Rita, his wife, sons Rob and Michael, their wives, and numerous grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture (2 West 64th Street & Central Park West) on Saturday, November 15th at 10am. Howard requested that in lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Humanist Institute; write “The Rita Radest Scholarship Fund” in the memo field. Please mail to The Humanist Institute, PMB #220, 8014 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN 55437-4712 or visit www.humanistinstitute.org.