One of the shrewdest prospectors of gold, uranium and oil of his day and founder and benefactor of the museum in Washington that bears his name, died of a heart attack in September 1981 in Washington DC. He was 82 years old.
A Wall Street office boy at the age of 14, he is said to have made $168,000 by the time he was 17 on an initial investment of $250. He was no less outstanding as a prospector in gold, uranium and oil. Joseph Herman Hirshhorn had come from nowhere and begun from nothing. Born in Mitau, Latvia, on Aug. ll, 1899, he was the 12th of 13 children of a merchant, Lazaar Hirshhorn, and his wife, Amelia. His father died when Joseph was quite young.
Since 1964 he had been married to the former Olga Zatorsky, whose character and interests ideally complemented his own. They had recently moved to Washington after having lived for some years in Greenwich, Conn.
Mr. Hirshhorn's three previous marriages ended in divorce. He had four children, Robin, Gene, Gordon and Naomi by his first wife, Jennie Berman. During his subsequent marriage to Lily Harmon he adopted two daughters, Amy and Joann. His third wife was Brenda Hawley Heide. He had many grandchildren.more » « less