David Berkowitz was among the original group of 13 faculty at Brandeis University. He was hired in 1948 as Associate Professor of History and Political Science, the second highest ranking faculty member after Ludwig Lewisohn. Prior to Brandeis, Berkowitz held the position of Executive Officer for the Association of Colleges and Universities in New York.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Berkowitz was educated at Harvard University, where he received his A.B., magna cum laude (1938), A.M. (1940) and Ph.D. (1946). Before coming to Brandeis, he taught at Connecticut College for Women (now Connecticut College) and Emerson College in Boston.
Shortly after arriving at Brandeis, Berkowitz assumed the administrative posts of Assistant to the President (1948-1952) and Director of University Planning (1949-1952?). He simultaneously served as Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, while maintaining a full teaching load. After one year, Berkowitz was promoted to Professor of History and Political Science.
Known primarily as a scholar of English and legal history and the Renaissance, Berkowitz taught classes such as History of the British Empire, Renaissance and Reformation in Sixteenth Century England, Topics in Constitutional History, and Topics in Historical Jurisprudence. He belonged to professional organizations that supported these scholarly interests including the Renaissance Society of America and the American Society of Legal History.
An avid bibliographer, David Berkowitz was a founding member of the Society of Bibliophiles at Brandeis University. The Society of Bibliophiles (est. 1961) sought to expand and promote the resources of the Special Collections Department within the Brandeis University Library. Funded primarily by gifts from its membership, the Society succeeded in acquiring a range of special collections early in its existence: correspondence of Daniel Webster, James McNeil Whistler and Benjamin Disraeli, lithographs by Honoré Daumier, and rare incunabula, to name a few.
David Berkowitz retired from teaching in 1980 and served as Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science until his death in 1983 at the age of 69.