Irving Louis Kofsky, PhD



Irving Louis Kofsky PhD, a physicist, of Newton, MA, passed away on May 16, 2019 surrounded by family.  Dr. Kofsky, 94, grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Erasmus Hall High School and later attended Syracuse University, where he was awarded a PhD in Physics. After teaching at Smith College, he worked at various laboratories before co-founding PhotoMetrics, a bi-coastal research & materials-analysis lab, which continues to operate today. During Operation Dominic, a series of 31 nuclear detonations conducted in the Pacific in 1962, Kofsky measured the effects of the blasts from inside an airplane. It was the largest nuclear trial in U.S. history and was also the last atmospheric test conducted in that region. Though the images recorded from that time were spectacular, Kofsky always maintained the episode was a farce, as he told TIME Magazine, where he was profiled in 2008, and was labeled “the oldest man at Burning Man.” Dr. Kofsky was known for his boundless energy, intellectual curiosity and near photographic memory. Fluent in four languages, he was a virtual encyclopedia of Broadway show tunes, and was known to burst into song when a relevant verse presented itself. He traveled extensively and made friendships which he diligently maintained all over the world. His other interests included skiing, single malt scotch, sun-worshipping in Speedos, Premier League Football, and his wife Ann’s cooking. Irving was devoted to his wife and three children, whom he prioritized above everything else. He will be remembered as the head of a loving family. He is survived by his wife Ann Robinson Kofsky, children Lewis Taylor Kofsky (Jani Moon Kofsky) of New York, Douglas Kline Kofsky of New York, Emily Robinson Kofsky (Robert Gott) of California, and sister Joanne Kofsky Blum of Florida. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews Peter Blum, Harriet Felts, Rick Robinson, and Leslie Clapp. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lasell Village Benevolent Fund, c/o Lasell Village, 120 Seminary Ave., Auburndale, MA 02466 or HIAS,

The family will sit shiva on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 4-7 pm at Lasell Village, 120 Seminary Avenue, Auburndale, MA. Over the coming months there will be a number of regional gatherings in the Bay Area, NYC, and other places beloved to Irving.  A growing online memorial & details about upcoming gathering may be found at

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