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New York Jew Dies Suddenly of Coronavirus at 74

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March 30, 2020

William Helmreich, a prominent sociology Professor best known for walking nearly every block of New York City, died Saturday morning of coronavirus at the age of 74, his family said.

Helmreich wrote 20 books, including “The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City,” about his walks through New York City as he met and learned about its residents.
Born in Switzerland to Holocaust survivors, Helmreich immigrated to New York City as an infant.
He taught sociology at City College of New York.
“Professor Helmreich was a true City College institution, a man with a restless curiosity about the people around him, a ceaseless investigator and an avid storyteller,” CCNY President Vincent Boudreau said in a statement to CNN.
“He believed that everybody had a story worth telling,” Jeffrey Helmreich said of his father.
“Every place and every person was interesting to my father. And every person felt interesting when talking to my father.”
After testing positive for coronavirus, Helmreich’s symptoms seemed to be improving. He died suddenly on Saturday.
“We weren’t ready for this at all. We didn’t say goodbye. We didn’t think we had to say goodbye,” Jeffrey Helmreich said.
His family held a virtual funeral with few guests. They were not able to sit shiva.
Funeral service workers in personal protective clothing carried the casket while Helmreich’s widow and one of his sons were in attendance, standing six feet apart.
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