We lost our academic father, I not only learned science from Prof Moss, but also the importance of being punctual and reading current literature, the message I also pass along to my students. I have graduated almost 20 years back from Rutgers, however, I kept in touch with him over the years. I will miss writing to him whenever something good happens to my career and family, and will miss hearing from him about his research until these recent days, and his family, especially during this holiday time. Most importantly, he would write back to me always, immediately within a few minutes. Amit and I have visited Prof. Moss almost every time when we went back to New Jersey / New York area, with our two boys, it was always great to see him. We wish his soul rest in peace and the utmost strength to the family to go through this difficult time.
Dear Moss Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. You have my deepest condolences.
Bob was my graduate chemistry mentor from 1997 - 2003 at Rutgers. He was always professional, considerate and supportive in all of our interactions. I remembered seeing (for some reason) a small metallic owl sitting in the upper corner of his office way back when we were having some discussions. Perhaps it was a sign that I was in the presence of great wisdom.
Bob vouched for my skills in organophosphorus chemistry when I applied to Johns Hopkins University APL. My training in reaction mechanisms and synthesis under Bob's tutelage has unfailingly served me well over the years. I am currently a senior scientist and chemistry SME (organophosphorus) on staff at JHU-APL.
Bob predicted that I would meet my wife in North Carolina right before I graduated Rutgers and prior to doing my post-doc at RTI. He also told me that they liked basketball in NC prior to leaving New Jersey. Interestingly, I met my wife at In Durham at a Duke sports event.
My only regret is not knowing baseball. I felt that he wanted to have a "discussion" about the Yankees with me when I was in our lab. You must understand that I grew up in the Bronx and had attended the Bronx HS of Science. Prof Moss knew that ( just as I knew he went to Stuyvesant) and liked the Mets. He told me that he goes to Florida to visit his mother and to sometimes look for potential baseball talent. I noticed that he liked wearing a blue cap with a "B" embroidered in front.
I currently reside at 724 Gist Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910 with my wife and cat. My cell number (which I've not changed since I was in Moss lab!) is 917-607-2171.
I feel so blessed and fortunate to have known my mentor, Bob, Professor Moss. I will miss him.
Dear Moss Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. You have my deepest condolences.
Bob was my graduate chemistry mentor from 1997 - 2003 at Rutgers. He was always professional, considerate and supportive in all of my interactions. I remember seeing (for some reason) a small metallic owl sitting in the upper corner of his office way back when we were having some discussions. Perhaps it was a sign that I was in the presence of great wisdom.
Bob vouched for my skills in organophosphorus chemistry when I applied to Johns Hopkins University APL. My training in reaction mechanisms and synthesis under Bob's tutelage and under NIH and US Army has served me well for the past ten years as a researcher at JHU-APL. I am currently a senior scientist and chemistry SME on staff at JHU-APL.
Bob predicted that I would meet my wife in North Carolina right before I graduated Rutgers and prior to doing my post-doc at RTI. He also told me that they liked basketball in NC prior to leaving New Jersey.
My only regret is not knowing baseball. I felt that he wanted to have a "discussion" about the Yankees with me when I was in our lab. You must understand that I grew up in the Bronx and had attended the Bronx HS of Science. Prof Moss knew that ( just as I knew he went to Stuyvesant) and liked the Mets. He told me that he goes to Florida to visit his mother and to sometimes look for potential baseball talent. I noticed that he liked wearing a blue cap with a "B" for "Brooklyn" ?
I currently reside at 724 Gist Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910 with my wife and cat. My cell number (which I've not changed since I was in Moss lab!) is 917-607-2171.
I feel so blessed and fortunate to have known my mentor, Bob. I will miss him.
It is with great sadness and grief that we learned of Prof. Moss’ passing. We have known Bob Moss for almost 40 years. We met him for the first time in 1980 in Poland. Little did we know that he would soon change our lives forever, much like he changed so many lives of people all over the world.
It is thanks to his kindness, trust and friendship that we had a chance to come to the United States to conduct research under his guidance. He helped us travel to America, no small feat at the height of Cold War. He welcomed us to the US and helped us settle in, even allowing us to stay at his house until we found accommodation. He was a warm, caring man with deep concern for the welfare of others.
Prof. Moss was also a great boss; a wonderful and inquisitive scientist who – very much like his literary hero, Sherlock Holmes – would never cease until his quest for the answer was complete. He could piece together seemingly unrelated data to confirm or disprove a hypothesis.
But most importantly, Bob was a compassionate and kind friend. We have experienced his acts of kindness in so many different occasions. He could always be counted on.
Bob, you will always be in our memories. Our walks through Warsaw. Our good (and bad!) times in the lab. Our movie nights, when we watched – for who knows which time again! – „The Natural” with Robert Redford. Mets games and your patient explanations of the rules of baseball. Classical music concerts and literary events at Rutgers. Our Sunday family get togethers.
Sandy, Kenny and Daniel – please accept our condolences and please know that we consider it a great privilege and honor to have met Bob and counted him and you as our friends.
I am so sorry to hear about Dr (Bob) Moss's passing and send my deepest sympathy to his family and friends. I was one of his PhD candidates in the early 80's. There are 3 things about Dr Moss that are dear to me and I want to share.
The first has to do with our group meetings at Rutgers. During the meetings one or more of the grad students or postdocs would be assigned an article that was submitted for or recently published that he or she would present to the group. But we knew that there was often something controversial in that article that we were expected to ferret out and the students were in the hot seat. In those meetings we learned that no matter how renown the author was we were all scholars and we learned how to give and take critique and strive for excellence. It was the most important lesson I learned in graduate school.
Now we were all impressed and more than a little intimidated by how brilliant and knowledgeable Dr Moss was. One day I found out his secret. In his office file cabinet he had many note cards with little slots and holes around the perimeter. While I watched he pulled out these very long and deadly skewers and inserted them through one or more of the holes to extract the desired information. Google would have been impressed.
While in graduate school I started my family and gave birth to my oldest son Michael. You can imagine how challenging it was to start a family in graduate school. I am forever grateful to Dr Moss for being supportive of me at that time arranging for me to do some theoretical research so that I could maintain my scholarship and complete my degree on schedule. I have seen many comments about how important family was to Dr Moss but I am so lucky to experience his devotion to family in this special way .
I saw Bob for the first time in 1980 when Meeting of “Molecular Designing of Reactive Intermediates” was held at Institute of Molecular Science in Okazaki, Japan. He was already a well-known scientist at that time and was supposed to give a plenary lecture. I, who, although only a year younger than him, was still not an independent chemist, like many other Japanese colleagues at that time, sat toward back of a rather small seminar room, eagerly looking forward to his talk. Just before his talk, a lady sneaked into the room with a little boy and sat together. Bob smiled and raised his hand modestly to them and started his talk. Yes, they were Sandy and Kenneth. I do not remember what he talked but I do remember that I was impressed with his fatherly attitude and affection to family.
In 1983, on the occasion of the ACS Symposium on Carbene Chemistry, I had an opportunity to visit him at his home where I met Sandy and Kenneth again. Bob showed me “Go” game plate, which he said was a present from Iwao Tabuchi, his biochemist friend. Bob asked me to play Go with Kenneth (I do not remember which of us won).
We met each other so many times not only in Japan but in the US and Europe. He has been always very friendly to me and kept encouraging me in my works.
Our correspondences never stop even after my retirement in 2005 and naturally they are mostly concerned with nonscientific matters, which are actually more intriguing to me.
He sent me a rough draft entitled “The Paral Chamber” (most probably a paper to be sent to Baker Street Journal), in which he pointed out the term “Paradol” used in one of Sherlock Holmes series must be “Paral”.
He told me last year that he started to read “Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi” by Kido Okamaoto, a detective story of old Edo era. I used to read the Okamoto’s novels while I was younger and hence I also started to read them again by digging out the book by using Kindle.
When I told him that I planned to perform all 16 pieces of string quartet composed by Beethoven with my music friends, he strongly recommended me to read a book, Beethoven His Spiritual Development by Sullivan (alas, it is still on my shopping list, while we finished up to #13 of the quartet).
Many images concerning him came and went in my mind’s eyes. Bob, you are the one who has made my research life so fruitful and my retirement life very interesting and enriching.
Thank you, Bob, and I will miss you.
Bob Moss was a postdoc and I an undergraduate when we were both in the Breslow group in 1963-1964. Bob and I became friends, as well as colleagues, and visited each other at my parents’ Home in Queens and his Home in NJ over a 25 year period. These visits often included my and his families. I always admired Bob’s work, which, in many respects, was closely related to my own. Bob will surely be missed.
I obtained my doctorate under the superb guidance of Bob Moss in 1983. The time I spent at Rutgers in his group was challenging and formed the foundation for my career in the chemical industry. I never felt right calling him Bob after obtaining my degree - he was always Professor Moss or Dr. Moss to me. That is how deep my respect and admiration runs for his deep passion for chemistry, his abundance of accomplishments and awards, his literary excellence, and the countless number of graduate students and post doctoral associates he mentored and helped develop into outstanding scientific professionals. Most of all, he was a devoted family man and that feeling was also felt heartily in our lab group during my time at Rutgers. Whenever I returned to recruit or just visit, he was very accommodating, sharing stories of his family and advocating for his graduate students and postdoctoral associates.
Being that I am also a native Brooklynite, we shared stories about growing up there and we shared the pride of being from a city with so many rich traditions. One difference between us was manifested in his ardent support for the Brooklyn Dodgers (and subsequently the Mets) as opposed to my lifelong Yankee fan status. Needless to say, we had some interesting conversations before, during, and after the 2000 World Series!
My most heartfelt condolences to the entire Moss family - Bob will be greatly missed but never forgotten. I feel privileged to have known him and I will always appreciate the important role he played in my life and professional career.
Professor Moss gave me a post doc appointment in June 1996, He, along with a graduate student, received me and my wife at Newark airport when we arrived from India. It was a pleasant surprise to see him for the first time at the airport. I had a very fruitful 2 years stay in his lab. He was one of the best personally and professionally I have ever met. After leaving Moss's lab in 1998, We kept in touch exchanging greetings at the end of the year. His greetings emails were long with updates on grand kids, Sandy, Dan & Ken's family and Moss lab activities. We enjoyed reading all these updates every year. Professor Moss made indelible memories in our lives. I am glad I had a chance to know him and work with him.
I was sad to hear of Bob passing. He was my colleague and friend for over 40 years in Chemistry at Rutgers. Bob was arguably the most distinguished scientist in the Chemistry Department at Rutgers, New Brunswick attested by several National American Chemical Society Awards, hundreds of publications in highly rated journals and countless invited lectures he had given at national and international forums of his field. Science was a major, but not his only passion. Bob was a Renaissance man. He collected stamps, and I had read some of the scholarly articles he wrote on Israeli history, connected to his stamps. I am less familiar with his articles on baseball (since I do not understand that game), but he told me touching stories of his childhood visits with his father to the Dodgers games in Brooklyn. He also convinced me to read the Sherlock Holmes books, yet another area of his scholarly interests. What a short, but rich and accomplished life Bob has had. He loved his Family and would pop into my office and tell me first about Kenny’s published books and rise in academia, and later about Daniel’s education at Princeton and about his efforts and success to gain tenure in Dallas. All his expectations about his sons came to fruition, which made him a proud father, and was happy for them. He was enthusiastic about and interested in Sandy’s scholarly activities in medical history and often accompanied her to her conferences.
As any famous scientist, Bob traveled all over the world to give lectures at universities and conferences. He talked about his many friends in Israel, the UK and in Poland, some of whom came as visiting scientist to work in his lab. at Rutgers.
On some of our lunch meetings, we talked about our families, politics here and in Israel, books, movies operas, and science among other interests. He introduced me to the interesting and enlightening Book Fasts at Neve Shalom, for which I can thank him. I learned much from Bob, and treasured his friendship. I will miss him, but good memories of our friendship will be with me as long as I live.
I caught my first glimpse of Bob Moss when I was a graduate student at Yale in the mid 1970s, when Bob gave a lecture on bio-organic chemistry to a standing room only audience. Although I was only a novice at the time, I could discern that I was listening to scholarship that was both deep and wide.
After Yale, I did a post doc at the University of Chicago with Gerhard Closs, Bob’s doctoral adviser. I asked Gerhard if Bob was his first Ph.D. student. He said no, but that Bob was his first good Ph.D. student, which from Gerhard was high praise indeed. After Gerhard passed, I relayed the story to Bob and he had a rejoinder. Gerhard was a notorious night owl and usually appeared in the office just in time to do lunch at the Quadrangle Club. One day Gerhard berated Bob for not working into the wee hours. Bob shot back that he typically ran and worked up two reactions before Gerhard even came to the office. Bob showed a lot of moxie to his adviser and Gerhard respected that.
As a young assistant professor, I learned that Bob and I had much in common. We were both from New York City, both Jewish, both of our fathers died young, and we both deeply loved NYC national league baseball and carbenes, connections that formed the basis of a strong friendship that spanned the decades. Bob frequently played the role of my demanding scientific uncle and he pushed me to become a better scientist. I owe a lot to his tutelage. He was the leading organizer of our reactive intermediates community and did more than any other to make us and keep ourselves a tight community.
I admired Bob as a true renaissance man with a deep knowledge of history, stamps and music as well as science. It seems like every day I read an article on the web, and I wonder what Bob would think of that story.
I miss him already and offer my deep and warm sympathies to the Moss family, especially Sandy, the love of his life.
I have known Bob for more than 30 years as a colleague and friend. Bob
was a worldwide highly regarded scholar in physical organic chemistry. I
visited him at Rutgers, stayed at his home a number of times, where I also
met Sandra. Besides our professional relationships, we got together several
times. Years ago, Bob, Dan and I visited the Binghamton Mets, a Double-A
affiliate of the New York Mets (since 2016 named the "Binghamton Rumble
Ponies!"). To write an article for a respected baseball journal, Bob was on a
tour with Dan to see games of a few AA teams in the area. On another
occasion, Bob with Sandy showed me and my wife Gisela "his" Brooklyn.
In Vienna, Bob's great love for classical music brought us to museums of
Mozart, Schubert and also to the Musikverein.
My sincere condolences to Sandy and the family. Farewell, Bob.
Bob Moss was the complete scientist that many of us aspire to be. He was diligent, intellectually gifted and highly imaginative. Most impressive to me was his ability to coax enchanting molecules with fleeting lifetimes to give up their most closely held secrets. It is the task of scientists to solve Nature’s mysteries and nobody did this better than Bob.
One has only to read the many condolences to see that Bob’s interest and expertise ranged far outside of Chemistry. His many and diverse intellectual contributions made him into a modern renaissance man. I am delighted to have shared Bob’s love of Chemistry and his great affection for the Brooklyn Dodgers with him.
I am privileged to have had Bob as both a helpful and insightful scientific colleague and a good friend for many years.
I was so sad when I was told about the passing of Bob. I was one of the last postdoctoral researchers in his group, working with him from early 2011 to mid 2013. He was such a respectable person to me that I never dared to call him in any way other than “Prof. Moss” or “Professor”. His long standing career and numerous awards obviously speak of the quality of scholar he was, keeping interest on science until he closed the lab. Likewise, he was also a great human being, evidenced clearly on the day by day talking with him, both about science and non-scientific stuff.
Through my stay at Rutgers he opened his house doors to me and my wife to join his whole family for Passover, where I had the opportunity to see him also as a husband, father and grandfather. We deeply appreciated this gesture of him, and have enjoyed meeting his family and friends at each Passover Seder. We want to send our heartfelt condolences to Sandy, Kenneth, Daniel and his grandchildren for their loss. He will surely be missed.
I send my sincere condolences to Sandy and the family on their loss. I have known Bob as a colleague and friend for many years, and mourn his departure. To me, Bob epitomized what a true scholar is and should be. He was always interested in understanding how nature worked and how human beings worked. Obviously, neither of those quests is one in which one could expect a definitive answer to be found, but it was the journey of looking for answers that I believe gave him his greatest intellectual satisfaction. At a time when integrity, logic and a love for the truth all seem to be undervalued, the world can ill afford to lose such a champion of these key human qualities.
Baruch dayan ha-emet.
Nira and Israel Bartal
My heartfelt condolences to the whole family--from a friend and colleague of Dan's.
Bob Moss was an inspiration. In my 20+ years at Rutgers as a faculty member, Bob was always available to offer advise. As a starting assistant professor, Bob advised me on science and how to manage a research lab. As I considered academic administration, Bob shared his experiences and advised me to hold on dearly to science. More than once, Bob gave me advice that I didn't want to follow - and that was particularly valuable, having someone to tell you what I didn't want to hear but needed to hear. And through it all, his joy of baseball was a constant reminder that living a full life was important. He will be missed.
My career covered the same time period as that of Bob Moss, and we had a shared interest in physical organic chemistry. It was always a pleasure to learn of the interesting work he was doing during the glory days of the field, which now is an integral part of organic chemistry, as the "how" of a chemical reaction is essential to current work in the field. Bob Moss excelled in this development, and did much to promote excellence in its study.
I am so sorry to hear of your great loss and want to let you know that I am thinking of you and your family. I didn't have the privilege of knowing your father but he sounds like a wonderful man. I wonder if you got your propensity for puns for him.
Sandy, I was so sorry to see Bob's obituary in the Star Ledger today. He had a profound influence on me and so many other grad students and other coworkers. I will always remember him and appreciate all he did for me. Our best wishes to you and your children and grandchildren.
Bob was not only a world-class chemist, but he was also an essayist, writing about subjects as diverse as the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball teams around 1950, stamps, and Sherlock Holmes. Bob was a scholar in the best sense of the word, and I loved receiving and reading (p)reprints of his chemistry manuscripts and copies of of his essays.
Bob was also organized and a gifted organizer. As Chair of the ISRIUM Organizing Committee, he deserves a great deal of credit for the smooth functioning of this organization.
I also considered Bob to be a friend. I had seconded Matt Plat's nomination of Bob for the 2017 James Flack Norris Award in Physical-Organic Chemistry; and I was overjoyed when Bob won this award. I was very pleased that he invited me to speak at his award symposium and to sit at his table at the dinner at which he received this ACS Award.
I will miss Bob, miss hearing him talk with pride about the accomplishments of his wife and both of his sons, miss feeling the warmth of his love for them, and miss feeling the warmth and love in Bob's essays about the Brooklyn Dodgers in the era when they were "The Boys of Summer."
I feel blessed to have known someone as multi-talented as Bo was and to have enjoyed his friendship. Thank you Bob.
From an old Sherlockian friend. I'm so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. Please accept my sympathy and extend it to your family also, I have many fond memories of our extended BSI family and our meetings together with Norman.
I came from Germany to Rutgers in 1967 for a one-year study abroad. During the first year I audited Prof. Moss’s course. His enthusiasm and teaching style convinced me to ask to join his group for my PhD studies in 1968. He hesitated, as my grades in the first year studies in a foreign language were, shall I say, not stellar. But he was willing to give me a chance as long as I continued to support myself as a TA. After one semester he found a fellowship for me… and during my last year at Rutgers I guided his research group while he was on Sabbatical at MIT.
Bob was a superb researcher as evidenced by the many scientific rewards he received. But it should not be forgotten that at the same time he was an excellent teacher and a Mensch.
In 2002 he received the ‘Sister Marian Jose Smith Excellence in Education Award’ of the North Jersey Section of the American Chemical Society.
His qualities as teacher are best summarized in this excerpt from the award citation:
“While Prof. Moss excelled in his scientific research, of great importance and very close to his heart throughout his career has been the education of his students in chemistry. He taught thousands of undergraduates organic chemistry, had numerous honor students conduct their research thesis in his group and supervised over 60 graduate students and 80 Postdoctoral Fellows. Prof. Moss has been most dedicated to excellence in teaching. A frequent comment of former students is that his course lectures are among the best and interesting ones they have been privileged to listen to. Prof. Moss continuously updates his courses with current literature and radiates excitement with chemistry. In his teachings he instills life into formulas and equations by connecting them with real people, often interspersing experiences of his own interactions with them. In his courses chemistry sprung alive as a science, developing, discussed, argued, and applied.
Prof. Moss’s enthusiasm and teaching style convinced many a student to ask to join his group. In particular he finds it an intensely rewarding experience to work with students from far away, Asia and Europe, and helping them in their quest for a better and more fulfilling life. He developed their problem solving skills, critical thinking, approaches to program delineation, paper writing, presentations, and last, but not least, patiently developing their English skills; all this in the friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere of a learning and study environment. These skills have been invaluable in the successful career development of his former students. For many of them he has been in the truest sense of the German phrase, a “Doktor Vater”, a Ph.D. Father.
Prof. Robert A. Moss is one of the most outstanding educators and teachers in New Jersey.
The North Jersey Section of the American Chemical Society is proud to name Prof. Moss as its recipient of the 2002 Sister Marian Jose Smith Excellence in Education Award.”
Bob, we will never forget you and you will live on in our hearts!
I am honored and blessed to have worked with Dr. Bob Moss (1983-1988). He invited me as a post doc from Sweden and can’t forget his kindness in making me feel comfortable in my early days after arriving at Rutgers. He played a key role in my hiring at PPG in 1988 when he voluntarily called the then hiring manager at PPG, for which I am indebted to him. He was a great scientist, teacher and a human being, and I learned a lot from him. I am going to miss him tremendously. Our sincere condolences for Sandy, Ken, Dan at this difficult time.
I´m deeply grateful of Bob´s mentorship during my time at Rutgers (1996-2001). He was an extraordinary scientist and even better person. I learned from him not only excellent chemistry but also other values about life, respect and work ethics that have follow me during my career. My wife and I will be forever bound to wonderful moments in NJ, and he will always live in our memories and hearts. Our love and sincere condolences to his wife and sons during this difficult time.
My family will always remember Bob Moss for his genuine and consistent friendship. Bob and I arrived at Rutgers simultaneously, he as an assistant professor and I as a graduate student. While he was not my thesis mentor he generously embraced me and the graduate students of that era by offering his extensive chemical knowledge and ultimately a friendship that, for me, lasted over 53 years. For over thirty of those years my family (wife Cheryl and daughter Imara) has felt close to Bob and his family and we will sorely miss him. Our hearts ache for Sandy, Ken, Dan and their families at this difficult time. Please know that you are in our prayers.
Bob was a wonderful colleague. I was continually stimulated by his intense dedication to the field of carbene chemistry. His enthusiasm was contagious and we collaborated on many projects that required me to deepen my understanding of computational chemistry. It helped keep me “alive” during my retirement.
A gentleman and a scholar, a pillar of the physical organic community. Prayers for peace, strength, hope, and an abundance of joyful memories.
Bob was an extraordinary man! He added greatly to countless lives.We feel privileged to have known him. He enlightened our thoughts like the lighthouses he treasured light the night. So glad he lived so fully and well. Our heartfelt condolences.
I (Dina) am proud to have earned my Ph.D. under Bob's tutelage. My time in the Moss group (1994-99) was among the best of my life - especially when the laser was working. Bob was a fair and motivating advisor and he always had his students' interests in mind. He challenged us and pushed us to excellence. I have been fortunate to continue as a carbene chemist in my independent career, where Bob continued to be a valued mentor and advocate. I am forever grateful for his guidance, encouragement, understanding, and for teaching me how to be a scientist and mentor to my own students. We send love and heartfelt sympathy to Sandy, Ken, Dan, and their families.
Bob was such a wonderful friend for many, many years. I learned so much from him about chemistry, stamps (especially Israeli), Sherlock Holmes, sports ( alas I am a Yankee fan and didn't share his enthusiasm for the Brooklyn Dodgers), music, theater, and his cats. He was truly a man of all seasons. His knowledge was boundless. He will always live in our memories and will be missed greatly. He was such a good person. His family was very important to him and our thoughts are with them.
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