Dr. Harari’s obituary was written by his daughter, Dr. Tal Harari-Cohen:

Herbert Harari, Ph.D. passed away at the age of 88 on June 18th, 2013. Born in Germany, he moved to Israel in 1933 at the age of 8.  Dr. Harari served in the Israeli army, was subsequently an officer in the Israeli police force, and later worked in advertising for a major Israeli magazine. In 1947 he married Rut, his wife of 66 years.  The family immigrated to the United States in 1955.


Dr. Harari with his wife Rut, and children Oren and Tal in 2009

Dr. Harari became a professor of Psychology at San Diego State in 1966 following the completion of his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Miami.  During his tenure at SDSU, he co-authored eight text books, some of which were translated into other languages to be used as textbooks abroad. He was best known for his text book written with John McDavid entitled: Social Psychology: Individuals, Groups, Societies. While his interests lay primarily with Social Psychology, his second love was statistical methods and quantitative methods in psychology.  Two of his books reflected those interests.  In addition, Dr. Harari wrote, or co-authored, 28 articles.  His study on stereotyping of names and popularity in grade school children was quoted often in both academic and popular literature.  He presented papers nationally and internationally and sat on the review board of several journals. At one point in his career he combined his teaching/research interests with providing clinical work at the County Mental Health Services.  He also lent a hand to the U.S. Navy’s Management Training Program.

In addition to research, Dr. Harari loved teaching courses and interacting with his students.  One of his former teaching assistants, Karen Huffman, said this of him:”I first met him as an undergraduate at San Diego State University (SDSU) where he was widely considered the best and most popular teacher on the entire

Dr. Harari with his wife, Rut Harari

Dr. Harari with his wife, Rut

campus.  Given that I sat through his class as a quiet, front row, star-struck fan, when he asked me to become his teaching assistant , I was incredibly surprised and honored.  Only later did I discover how competitive this position was, and that I was the subject of great envy because I got to work with such a respected and deeply revered man.”

Dr. Harari retired from SDSU in 1990 when he and Rut moved to Walnut Creek, CA to be near their two children and their families.  In his retirement, he created a website containing original computer generated music such as Dixieland and Blues.  He had approximately 400,000 listeners from around the world.  In the retirement community of Rossmoor, he was an avid participant in various discussion groups as well as an ace player in the Rossmoor chess club.

He is survived by his wife, Rut; his daughter Dr. Tal Harari-Cohen, son-in-law Dr. Tom Cohen and their daughters Ilana and Ariel Cohen; as well as his daughter-in-law Leslie Harari (widow of son Dr. Oren Harari) and their sons, Jordan and Dylan Harari.

Herbert Harari will be remembered as a beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and professor.