Obituary — Daniel T. Longone

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Daniel (Dan) T. Longone, professor emeritus of chemistry and well known culinary and wine historian, died peacefully Jan. 28 in Ann Arbor at the age of 91. 

Dan earned a Ph.D., at Cornell University, and after a year as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Illinois he joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1959.

Daniel Longone

His research interests were in organic chemistry, particularly the synthesis and behavior of novel structures and the preparation of synthetic polymers with unusual properties. He retired from U-M in 1987 having taught thousands of students during his tenure.

Dan was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne, an American Chemical Society Fellow, a visiting professor at the University Barcelona and in Marburg, Germany; Catania, Sicily; and Istanbul, Turkey. He held various consultantships in polymer research and had a long tenure with General Motors Research.

Dan, along with his late wife, Janice (Jan) Bluestein Longone, founded The Wine and Food Library in Ann Arbor in 1972. It is renowned for being one of the most extensive collections of antiquarian culinary resources in existence. 

While Jan was recognized as an authority on the history of American cooking, Dan’s expertise was on the history of grapes and wine in America. In 2009, he was the curator of a highly acclaimed exhibit and lecture titled “500 Years of American Grapes and Wine: A Remarkable Journey” at U-M’s William L. Clements Library.

Dan also founded the Ann Arbor Wine and Food Society, was a founding member of the Detroit Chapter of the Commarderie de Bordeaux and lectured on wine nationally for the American Chemical Society.

The Longones’ collection of more than 20,000 pieces is now the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archivehoused at U-M. Through their lifelong intellectual and philanthropic contributions, Dan and Jan created an important assemblage of historical work associated with food and wine. Selected pieces of their historical research and information about wine in the United States were also submitted to the Smithsonian Institute.

 “In a lifetime labor of love, Dan and his beloved wife, Jan, compiled a truly world-class collection of cookbooks, menus and culinary documents. Dan’s particular focus was on building a rich collection of resources on viticulture and the history of wine, and he took joy in being generous with his time and expertise,” said Juli McCloone, curator of the archive.

“By establishing the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive at the University of Michigan Library, they ensured that students and scholars of future generations will be able to draw on these incredible resources to study the history of food and drink in society.” 

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dan was the oldest son of the late Daniel “Buster” and Anna “Babe” Longone. He married Jan in 1954, and they spent their lives sharing the impact of wine and food in society.

Both were sought-after speakers, prolific writers and teachers as well as treasured resources for some of the world’s most famous chefs and restaurateurs. Together Dan and Jan taught and co-taught courses on gastronomy and food history sponsored by U-M. Their vocations and international acclaim took them on numerous travels to Spain, France and other places to meet many of their fans of The Wine and Food Library.

Dan leaves his brother-in-law, Bernard Bluestein, and Bernard’s wife, Annette, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

A celebration of life to honor both Dan and Jan is being planned in Ann Arbor at a later date.

Submitted by the family of Dan Longone

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