Living Legend No. 61 – Dr. Abraham Hoffman
Abraham Hoffman joined the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners in the Fall of 1973, at the invitation of renowned historian Doyce Nunis. Hoffman’s first presentation to the corral as a speaker was in 1976: his most recent of many outstanding presentations was in February of 2016, exactly 40 years later. Dr. Hoffman became the Sheriff of the Los Angeles Corral in 1997: his tenure in the top spot is still remembered as a high point of our long existence. Abe has persuaded numerous interested parties to visit corral events, and to become members, including Glenn Thornhill, and Brian Dervin Dillon. Abe became the Editor of the corral’s quarterly publication The Branding Iron in 1985, and ably served in that position for three years. Ever after, he has served as Book Review Editor for that same quarterly. He has also been a regular author of corral publications, including the two most recent Keepsakes, and over a dozen Branding Iron articles since 1973. His writing has been recognized through many awards over the past 40 years, including the Danielson Award (1976, 2008, 2012), The Fred Olds Cowboy Poetry Award (2011, 2016), and the Best Book Award for 2015.
In addition to his varied activities with the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners, Dr. Hoffman is also a member of the Los Angeles City Historical Society, the Historical Society of Southern California, the Organization of American Historians, the Western History Association, and Western Writers of America. The Historical Society of Southern California has awarded Dr. Hoffman the Donald H. Pflueger Award for “distinguished research and writing on the local history of Southern California.”
Dr. Hoffman was born in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College and received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Los Angeles State College (now CSU, Los Angeles), then earned his doctorate in History at UCLA. He taught in Los Angeles schools for more than thirty years and has been an adjunct professor at Los Angeles Valley College since 1974.
Abe’s books include Unwanted Mexican Americans in the Great Depression: Repatriation Pressures, 1929-1939 (1974), Vision or Villainy: Origins of the Owens Valley-Los Angeles Water Controversy (1981), An Oklahoma Tragedy: The Shooting of the Mexican Students, 1931 (1987), California Then and Now (1996), and Mono Lake: From Dead Sea to Environmental Treasure (2014). His latest book is California’s Worst Earthquakes (working title), due for publication in 2017. Hoffman also serves on the board of editors for Southern California Quarterly. He reviews books, and has contributed articles to many different history publications, including California History, California Territorial Quarterly, Journal of the West, Pacific Historical Review, Pacific Historian, Western Historical Quarterly, and Western States Jewish History. One of the most prolific historical writers of western America, by conservative estimate Dr. Hoffman has published more than 700 book reviews during the past four decades.
The Los Angeles Corral of Westerners is proud to claim many outstanding members who have made their mark in educational, literary, and bibliographical contexts, above and beyond their service to our organization. Nevertheless, a very few illustrious members stand head and shoulder over the rest of us. Dr. Abraham Hoffman is just such a Westerner, and all members of the Los Angeles Corral congratulate him upon being honored, in the 70th year of our existence, as Westerners International Living Legend No. 61.
Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D.
Los Angeles Corral of Westerners
December 15, 2016