Ok, it’s not quite like Lord Lucan doing a runner, but the bust of law school donor Baron De Hirshmeyer which used to be in the main lobby of the law library has vanished.
Please be on the lookout for:
In beautiful Florida style, Baron De Hirshmeyer (d. 1974) was not a baron in the sense of having a foreign title of nobility, but rather a Jewish guy from Wisconsin named “Baron.” After moving to Miami Beach in the mid-20s, Baron built a fortune in the South Beach hotel business, in real estate and later co-founded the City National Bank. He also became the first President of the Miami Beach Bar Association and a prominent local philanthropist. His gifts paid for a big chunk of the Law School’s early buildings in the mid-50s and onwards.
By all accounts, the absence of a genuine title did not stop his wife, Polly, also a UM benefactor, from signing into European hotels as the “Baronness” de Hirsch Meyer. Apparently, some time after Baron’s death, Polly took up with a producer of TV commercials but upon her death her paramour was disappointed to discover he had been left out of the will. His reverse-palimony-style suit against the estate did not, however, prevail.
Baron de Hirsch Meyer may not have been a real baron — but he was named after someone who was! The original Baron de Hirsch was a famous German Jewish philanthropist who was instrumental in financing and securing emigration of Jews from tsarist Russia and elsewhere. BdeHM’s parents named their son after this model figure. See this link for more about Baron de Hirsch: