Jewish Bibliophile Dies at 95

Published: March 1st 2010
in Culture » Books

Jose Mindlin



Jose Mindlin, the owner of the largest private library in Latin America, died on Sunday, February 28 in Brazil. He was 95 years old.




Mindlin’s passion for finding rare books began when he was 13 years old. The first in his collection was Discours sur l'Histoire Universelle by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, which was published in 1740.




His collection grew to 38,000, half of which were donated to the University of Sao Paulo in 2006. The university has announced that a building on campus will be named after the Guita and Jose Mindlin Foundation.




Henry Sobel, rabbi of the largest Jewish congregation in Latin America, lauded Mindlin’s contribution to literature. “He was a righteous man who could see ethics in politics and culture,” he said to the JTA. “I felt so little when I was in his library. His greatest book was called Jose Mindlin.”




Mindlin, who was a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and a former secretary of culture, also received praise from Sao Paulo Mayor Gilbero Kassab. Kassab tells the JTA, “His legacy is the library he left, the result of a life dedicated to the books. Today it's an asset of all Brazilians.”



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