Eugene Goodheart was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 26, 1931. He was a literary critic, essayist, and public intellectual who wrote more than a dozen books that affirmed the ethical and humane value of literature. Goodheart served as Edytha Macy Gross Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University where he directed the Brandeis Center for the Humanities. His memoir, Confessions of a Secular Jew, explores his Jewish identity and coming of age in mid-20th Century New York. Later in his career, he turned to political writing, arguing for the value of compromise during a time of increasing political polarization. He died on April 9, 2020, at his home in Watertown, MA.