Jesuit Father Charles Lohr died on June 21, 2015, at Murray Weigel Hall in the Bronx, New York, just three days short of his 90th birthday.
Fr. Lohr was born in Brooklyn on June 24, 1925, and was raised in Jamaica, Queens. He was the oldest of five children. His mother was a devout Catholic and his father a converted Lutheran.
Steeped in the Jesuit tradition, he attended Xavier High School from 1939 to 1943 and then earned his bachelor’s degree at Fordham University. The 1947 edition of the Maroon yearbook describes him as “invariably seen walking out of Duane Library laden down with monstrous volumes in original Latin and Greek.”
In 1952, he joined the Society of Jesus, and was ordained at the Fordham University Church in 1961. He taught Latin, Greek and English at the high school and was a member of Fordham University’s philosophy faculty for three years.
He received his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1967. He lived there for 46 years, eventually chairing the university’s philosophy department and directing the Raimundus-Lullus Institute. Fr. Lohr was also editor of Fordham’s classics journal “Traditio.” He became one of the world’s foremost authorities on Medieval Western Aristotelianism.
In an incredible academic accomplishment, he catalogued nearly all the Latin commentaries on the works of Aristotle from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. “It was a great intellectual project and became an incredible work of reference,” said Jesuit Father Joseph E. Lienhard, professor of theology and the journal’s current managing editor. “He considered the collection to be the scholarly achievement of his life.”
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Fr. Lohr had a passion for bicycling. In his youth, he was one place away from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic bicyclists’ team; he then embarked on a solo bike adventure through Europe. Throughout his life, he belonged to many bike clubs, where he befriended auto mechanics and ambassadors alike.