Amongst the many souls lost on September 11, 2001, was our good friend, Dan Bergstein, Stuyvesant Class of ’80. He was 38 years old.
Dan was born on October 19, 1962 in NYC to his proud parents, Dr. Frederick and Adele Bergstein. He had a younger sister, Helen Libby Bergstein. After attending Robert F. Wagner Jr. High, Dan moved on to Stuyvesant.
For those of us that knew him in high school, we can remember how every school day between September 1976 and June 1980 was begun laughing, debating, and schmoozing with Dan and the other kids in our homeroom. With their graffiti inscribed desks and industrial windows, those rooms—and we rotated through several, along with homeroom teachers—were bedrock for four years.
Whether talking about the first period trig test, Thurman Munson or Carleton Fisk, Carly Simon or Jackson Browne, Carter or Kennedy, or how to free the hostages, Dan’s warmth, wit, and intelligence helped make the next six or seven periods a lot more livable. Dan, of course, went on to much greater personal and professional distinction.
Close friends of Dan would always comment on his love for tennis, movies and music. It was widely expected by Dan’s closest friends that by the time the Oscars came around, he would be the only one who’d seen every movie nominated for an award. His picks for winners were—more often than not—correct. Dan also worked summers for the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) as an instructor and also as a director. NYJTL is an organization that offers free tennis lessons to all NYC kids—something Dan supported and really enjoyed doing.
After Stuyvesant, he went on to Columbia University where he graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1984; ten years later he earned an MBA at Baruch. A lot of great things happened to Dan while at Columbia. He became drummer for a college band—The Secret Chimps—and even recorded a song!
Most important, at Columbia
Dan met his future wife, Alicia Perez. Both graduated in 1984, and went on to marry two years later. Dan and Alicia moved across the river to Teaneck, New Jersey to raise their two children—Devin and Adrianna, who were 6 and 4 years old, respectively, on September 11th, 2001.
Dan joined the Port Authority upon graduating Columbia, where he assumed roles of great responsibility, the last one as Board Secretary. His office was in the first tower.
Dan was a great son, brother, husband, father and friend. He is remembered with fondness and admiration. This small reminder keeps him with us.