Irv's Best Looking Hat
Irving Sarnoff
  • 86 years old
  • Date of birth: May 25, 1930
  • Place of birth:
    New York, New York, United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 20, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Pasadena, California, United States
May the memory of Irv inspire us,and motivate us to take action to improve our world.

It is with both tremendous sadness and a great sense of pride that we say farewell to our husband, our dad, our grampy, our great-grampy, our friend, our dance partner, and our mentor.  Irv lived such a long life, one full of meaning and purpose, and meant so much to so many different people, that it’s impossible to summarize his life in a few paragraphs.  

Although Irv spent 28 years working as a railroad mechanic and inspector, his passion in life was political activism. There were many movements that he was involved with along the way, and in many cases as a leader or founder of an organization. From the civil rights era, to the anti-Vietnam War movement, to the anti-nuclear movement, to his unwavering support of the United Nations – Irv was always fighting for (or against) something, and always on the side of peace, justice and equality for all the peoples of the world. Irv truly lived and breathed his commitment to serving humanity and to making a positive difference on our world.

And while this website is a memorial to Irv’s life, we feel it is critical to note that so much of what Irv accomplished was done with the amazing support of Ruth as his wife, his comrade, his partner, and his friend. While they lived apart for many years, they always took care of each other, and neither ever missed a Sarnoff family Thanksgiving.  Over the last decade, they once again lived together, continuing to care for each other as they had always done, and continuing to ‘debate’ politics — right up until his very last day.

We know that many of you reading this tribute were Irv and Ruth’s partners in these efforts, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done to make our world better, and for your support of our family along the way.

For the past 40 years, Irv was never happier, or more at peace, than spending time with his second family: the passionate tribes of dancers in Santa Monica, Culver City and Pasadena.  He loved his kindred-spirits — sharing a playful and nurturing space that energized him and touched his soul. This ever-growing circle of friends over time became a central source of connection and inspiration for this eternal optimist.

In this website, we have provided video links, photos, and a timeline of Irv’s life achievements and defining moments. If there are important events we missed, please send us a note and let us know! It is only with your collective help that we can fill in those important moments that we have forgotten…..or perhaps never knew about in the first place!  

Also, we know Irv worked with and touched many people, and that many of you have great Irv stories to share.  We invite you to share them in the STORIES section of this website.  And if you have any videos or pictures you would like to post, please do so. This is a celebration of his life and a way to memorialize these stories so that Irv’s spirit might live on.

We think Irv lived a pretty full life, and that the world is much better off because of his leadership and dedication to the causes of peace, justice and equality for all people. We hope that reading through Irv’s achievements, and listening to his words, will help to inspire you to follow your own passion, and to commit yourself to that higher purpose of making our world a better place.  Nothing would honor Irv’s legacy more than continuing to inspire others to action!

We love you Grandpa!

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This memorial is administered by:

Herb Sarnoff


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