Hornig, Edgar A. (1919-1997)

Hornig, Edgar A. (1919-1997)

Date Updated




Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Stanford University, 1955 Ph.D.

University of Oklahoma, 1942 MA

Milwaukee State Teachers College, 1941 BS

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1946-1982

Selected Publications

Many articles were printed in a wide variety of publications

Personal Commentary

How can any man judge his own life's work without remembering Robert Burns' poignant verse:

Oh wad the power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as others see us!

It would from many a blunder free us,

An' foolish notion.

Pursuing this thought, the opinions of his peers and students are more meaningful than anything he might write within the bounds imposed by simple modesty. Upon retirement from a career spent principally in teaching, his colleagues in the history department of SJSU said goody‑bye in these words:

The History Department of San Jose State University proudly salutes our senior professor, Dr. Edgar A. Hornig, who retires at the conclusion of this semester.

Professor Edgar A. Hornig came to San Jose State College in 1946. Coming from a wide background at Milwaukee State Teachers College and the University of Oklahoma, Hornig earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University. A dynamic, overwhelmingly knowledgeable and inspiring classroom lecturer, he battered everyone with a flurry of ideas and inspirations. His imagination and zeal created a coterie of aspirants which has filled the intellectual world with excellence. Students often extended graduation a semester to gain admission to his classes. Over the years, he has been an exemplar for excellence in teaching.

Best wishes for a long and happy retirement!

At the same time, some of his students provided their opinions in the 1982 edition of The Tower List published by Tau Delta Phi, SJSU, as follows:

Dr. Hornig is highly motivated and is an interesting and informative lecturer.

His readings and lectures 'tie in' . . . He is truly a dynamic speaker. Students are very impressed by Hornig's command of his subject: 'He encourages individual contemplation of the subjects brought up in class discussion... He blows you away with his intelligence' .. . One student sums it up by saying, 'Dr. Hornig is of a rare breed. He truly cares about his students, and I can say he's been my best professor yet.'

Such praise is always gratifying when not intended to flatter and, I would hope, more on the mark than anything he might feel comfortable in writing about himself. Suffice it to say that it has been his privilege to work with great teachers and writers in his chosen field while helping a fascinating array of students relate to the lessons of history and explore the personalities who shaped that history.

Submitted by Therese (Teri) Hornig

Date Completed: 10/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Hornig, Edgar A. (1919-1997)