JAMAICA PLAIN, MASS., and BAR HARBOR—Stephan L. Chorover, Ph.D, beloved husband, father, grandfather and professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died Feb. 20, 2015, at his home in Jamaica Plain, Mass., after a long battle with bladder cancer and peripheral artery disease. The Chorovers have been summer residents on MDI for over 60 years, having come to the island initially for Dr. Chorover to work at the Jackson Lab in the late 1950s. They continued to live on the north side of the island seasonally, initially renting cottages, and eventually designing and building a winterized home. They spent winters in Brookline, Mass., and later in Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Dr. Chorover joined the MIT faculty in 1961, and was one of the founding members of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (formerly the Department of Psychology). He was instrumental in creating the department’s first academic programs. For over 50 years, he taught and mentored thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. He retired in 1998, but continued teaching students for an additional 15 years.
Chorover was a graduate of Bronx Science High School (1950), received his Bachelor of Science from City College of New York (1955), and Ph.D. in Neuropsychology from New York University (1959). He authored over 100 scholarly articles, and a book, “From Genesis to Genocide: The Meaning of Human Nature and the Power of Behavior Control.” He was a vocal advocate for environmental conservation, and advocated for peace and social justice throughout his life.
He was born and grew up in the Bronx, and married Bea Feinstein, a social worker, in 1954. They met when Steve was 19, and were married for over 62 years, until his death at 82. He was a loving, constant supporter and advocate for his wife, children and many friends, beloved by those who had the pleasure to live, work and study with him. He is survived by his wife, Bea, and three children: Nora (and partner Steve Cooley), Jon (and wife Gina Gargano), and Katya (and husband John Grandt); as well as four grandchildren, Talia, Nathan, Sarah and Annaluna. A memorial was held in Cambridge at the MIT Chapel on March 14.