Jerome M. Gilison, 65, Russia analyst for CIA
Jerome M. Gilison, a political analyst of Russian affairs for the Central Intelligence Agency, died Thursday of an aortic rupture. He was 65.
Mr. Gilison, whose top-secret activities with the CIA sharply contrasted his open and outgoing personality, would have celebrated a month of marriage to his second wife, Patty Goldberg Gilison, on Tuesday.
Family members remembered Mr. Gilison as a man who was serious about his work and his hobbies. He earned degrees in engineering, economics and political science, and he loved music, theater, opera and sports.
Mr. Gilison turned another of his favorite hobbies - photography - into a part-time career. He took pictures at weddings and bar mitzvahs for many years, said his son, David Gilison of Los Angeles.
"It was a marriage of art and science that he loved so much," David Gilison said.
Mr. Gilison was born in the Bronx.
After graduating from high school at 16, Mr. Gilison went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he enrolled in humanities courses to offset his many science-related classes. He graduated from MIT in 1956.
He served from 1956 to 1958 as a lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps in Korea, where he was in charge of microwave radio stations.
After his tour of duty in Korea, Mr. Gilison enrolled in Columbia University's Institute of Soviet Studies, where in 1965 he earned his doctorate in political science, specializing in Soviet affairs.
During that time, he married his first wife, Margot Gilbert. They had three sons. He also studied for a year in Russia, becoming fluent in Russian.
Mr. Gilison moved to Baltimore in 1965 to become an assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins University's political science department.
While there, he published two books and was voted "Most Popular Professor" at least once, his son said.
"He was a great teacher," David Gilison said.
Mr. Gilison left Johns Hopkins in 1974 to be dean of Baltimore Hebrew College. He went to the CIA in 1981, and worked there until his death.
During his years with the CIA, he concentrated primarily on the Soviet Union, its successor states and Eastern Europe.
He also served as chief analyst for the division focusing on European and Latin American media.
At the agency, he was known for his ability to work with junior personnel, sharing his knowledge and experience.
Mr. Gilison and his first wife divorced in 1997.
He was introduced to Patty Goldberg by mutual friends and "it was just a beautiful love affair from the start," she said. They married June 24.
Services will be held today at Sol Levinson and Bros., 8900 Reisterstown Road. Burial will follow at Oheb Shalom Cemetery.
In addition to his son, Mr. Gilison is survived by sons Kenneth Gilison of Paris and Steven Gilison of New York; a stepson, Doug Goldberg of San Francisco; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Goldberg of Chatham, Mass.; his mother Belle Gilison of Tamarac, Fla.; a sister, Emily Bradford of Locust Valley, N.Y.; and three grandchildren.