Stefan Sperling*06 1971 – 2016

Friday, Sep 16, 2016

On August 10, 2016, Stefan Sperling*06 passed away in San Francisco after a brief illness.  His many friends and colleagues are still in shock over his sudden passing.  Born in what was then East Germany Stefan escaped with his mother and sister in 1971. He immigrated to the United States as a young man. He earned his undergraduate degrees at Deep Springs College and the University of Chicago, conducted post-graduate work at Stanford, and received a PhD in anthropology from Princeton.


A book based on Stefan's doctoral dissertation, "Reasons of Conscience: The Bioethics Debate in Germany," was published in 2013 by the University of Chicago Press. He taught at Harvard University, Humboldt University in Berlin, and Deep Springs courses on science, culture and ethics.  .  He received his JD from Stanford in 2014 Stanford. As Matthew Ferraro noted in the Stanford Lawyer, “….Stefan had an anthropologist's eye for the complex ecology of our society.”


After law school, Stefan practiced law in northern California, most recently at the San Francisco office of Baker & McKenzie. Stefan is survived by his grandfather Hans, a sister Sabine and cousin Horst. He was supported in his final days by Geoff Andersen, Gabe Culbert, Ana Mayorova and partner JoJo Zou, and is mourned by many friends around the world. It is a tragic shock to lose someone so young and so full of promise.