By AFRO Staff

New York, New York. June 3, 2019 — Dr. Irving Spear Hamer, Jr., (January 6, 1946 – May 4, 2019) a tireless innovative advocate for elevating school performance through revamping the infrastructure of the education system, fair school funding and, using analytic tools to evaluate and predict student outcomes transitioned on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

A Memorial Service in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Church, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street in New York City.

Dr. Irving Spear Hamer, Jr., a leader in academia, died on May 4. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Hamer was an educational and academic leader in both the public and private sector. His public sector roles included serving as Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Education Department, Manhattan representative to the New York City Board of Education, Deputy Superintendent of Miami/Dade (Florida) and Memphis (Tennessee) school systems. 

He, also, served as a professor of education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Florida International University Center for Urban Education and Innovation, and the University of Memphis. he was a Yale University senior research analyst early in his career

Other public sector involvement included serving as board chair for The Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Valley youth program and the Educational Director for the New York Urban League, where he also served as the director of the Urban League’s Street Academies.  He was the founder and headmaster of the Baltimore Street Academy

His private sector leadership experience included holding positions as President of Globe Book Company, Executive Vice President of Simon and Schuster, Executive Vice President of the Millennium Group, Partner at P3Strategies and President of K12Anaytics.

Irving Hamer was a complex, extraordinarily, intelligent man.  A native New Yorker, raised in Central Harlem and Douglas house, Irving Hamer received his masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard University and his undergraduate degree from Ottawa University (Kansas}?

Yet, there was so much more to him.

His family and  friends will remember him as a loving supportive father, a prolific writer, incredible dancer, creative thespian, lifelong fine arts collector, an avid reader.

But, more broadly, he will be remembered for being one of the most innovative urban education scholars of the 21st century – advocating for and developing policies and programs to achieve excellence in education for all children.  

When asked to describe himself, however, he would say, “just a man who loves bebop, jazz and a good Cab (Cabernet).”