Obituary: Norman H. Zide

May, 30,1928 – Feb. 21, 2023

Professor Norman H. Zide, born May 30, 1928, passed away suddenly on Feb. 21, 2023, just 3 months shy of his 95th birthday. A fifty year summer resident of Fish Creek and Chicago, he was born in New York City, grew up in Brooklyn, and attended Music and Art High School (now LaGuardia). Graduating at 15, he studied at and received degrees from New York University, Yale, Columbia and Penn State, eventually earning several Masters and a Ph.D. His studies were interrupted by a stint in the US Army during the Korean War, where he was stationed in Oklahoma. 
It was there he developed an affection for country music and an interest in indigenous languages — initially Comanche. This would lead him to India where he spent many years traveling, researching, living and teaching tribal languages.His many years in India were some of his most productive. He was also a Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation grant recipient.
Accepting a position with the University of Chicago in the South Asia department, he was a long time professor and occasional department chair in his decades there. The author of numerous papers and studies on these languages, he was one of the foremost scholars in his field when the University of Chicago’s department was ranked number one in the country. 
A classically-trained pianist, his love for music and opera remained a major part of his life, along with writing short stories. He travelled far, saw much and made his own way.  He is survived by his sons Gregory and William, daughter-in-law, nieces, nephew and numerous cousins, students and friends. His humor, intellect and scholarship left a lasting impression on all who knew him.  He is loved, remembered and will be missed.