In Memoriam

Post Date: Mon, August 8, 2022

David McCullough, the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize award-winning author of 14 books, including presidential biographies on Harry Truman and John Adams, died on August 7, 2022.

Post Date: Thu, October 23, 2014

Many of you will know Phil Kirk as the man for whom we named Kirk Hall at the Central Library. Or as this generation’s downtown Kansas City real estate developer par excellence. Or a genial figure at many of our Library programs and special events.

He was much, much more. His family, and notably his father Jim, were prominent in local business and philanthropy. Jim Kirk's office furniture from Kirk Welding ended up in One North at the Central Library as part of our soft seating there. Mike Kirk, Phil's brother, has been an active supporter of the Library.

Post Date: Fri, March 19, 2021

A school dropout after eighth grade, Alvin Sykes became a fixture in local libraries and emerged as a self-taught human rights activist, working though the justice system on behalf of injured parties – particularly minorities and the poor. He wound up writing history, pushing and prodding until Congress enacted the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2008, empowering the federal to investigate long-ago cases of civil rights violations. The Library is honored to have known and worked with him.


Post Date: Fri, May 22, 2020

Gabriella Polony Mountain was passionate, expressive, indelible. And so was the art  created by the namesake of the Rocky and Gabriella Mountain Gallery at the downtown Central Library over a remarkable, 102-year life. Polony Mountain died Monday, May 18, 2020.

Post Date: Mon, April 13, 2020

A protege of L.H. Bluford Branch namesake Lucile Bluford, Donna Stewart spent more than four decades as a journalist at Kansas City's renowned African American newspaper, The Call,  and formed her own Library connections. Stewart died April 11 at age 65.

Post Date: Mon, April 20, 2020

"I had a love affair with Kansas City," the former Chiefs player said. It extended to the Library, which joins in mourning McDaniels' death at age 52.

Post Date: Fri, April 16, 2021

Vartan Gregorian, who died Thursday, April 15, left a towering legacy as a scholar and humanitarian, stretching from his presidencies of Brown University and the philanthropic Carnegie Corporation to eight transformative years as head of the New York Public Library. It touches, too, on Kansas City and the Library.