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Founder of documentary film program, professor emeritus Henry S. Breitrose, dies at 78


Henry S. Breitrose, Ph.D. ’66, who taught the history of film and film aesthetics for more than five decades at Stanford and founded Stanford’s documentary film program, died Oct. 2 at his campus house. He was 78.

At Stanford, Breitrose was the chair of the Communications Department from 1977 to 1983. He was involved in creating state-of-the-art film and television production studios as well as social laboratories in McClatchy Hall.

He was a founding member of the editorial board of Quarterly Review of Film Studies and a founding editor of Cambridge Studies in Film.

Breitrose was active in the International Association of Film and Television Schools, serving on the executive council from 1995 to 2008 as vice president of research and publications.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English and history from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in film from Northwestern, the Brooklyn, New York, native joined Stanford in 1959 as an instructor in the Department of Communications. While working as an instructor at Stanford, he also earned a doctorate in communications research at Stanford and joined the faculty in 1966.

Breitrose is survived by his wife, Prudence Breitrose, and his two children, Becky and Charlie.

The Communications Department has set up a web page to share memories of Breitrose and is planning a memorial service.

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Katherine Carr is a reporter for The Stanford Daily with a passion for science and public health. She comes to Stanford from Irvine, Calif., where she worked as a freelance writer for the Orange County Register. Carr is a prospective chemistry major and likes to write about science, politics and fashion. To contact her, please email kcarr2 'at' or follow her on Twitter @KatAnneCarr.