September 21, 1951 – October 22, 2015
Edward J. Pierce of Los Angeles, CA, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on October 22, 2015. Ed had a distinguished academic and professional career, and his generosity of spirit and hospitality touched the lives of many.
Ed was born in Buchanan, New York, on September 21, 1951, to parents Maureen and Web who pre-deceased him. He began his academic career at Yale University where he earned his Bachelors Degree in French Literature. After graduating from Yale, Ed worked for a year as a janitor at the Yale Medical School-a credential he was always proud to mention.
Ed then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at Brown University, followed by a year of teaching high school English in Rhode Island. After his year of teaching, Ed entered Harvard Law School where he earned his J.D. While at Harvard, Ed met his lifelong partner and beloved husband of 36 years, Robert M. Saltzman, most recently Associate Dean and Professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Rob currently serves as the senior Commissioner of the Los Angeles City Police Commission. Ed and Rob shared a full and rewarding life centered on family, friends, and a lifelong passion for social justice and community service.
After law school, Ed joined the Beverly Hills law firm of Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz and Selvin. He subsequently was a partner in the Los Angeles firm of Pollard, Bauman, Slome and McIntosh, and later in the Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw. Notwithstanding his self-professed ignorance of all things technological, Ed finished his professional career as General Counsel of the pioneering internet social network site, GeoCities.com. At GeoCities, he led the firm through several rounds of venture financing followed by a successful public offering and subsequent sale in 1999 to Yahoo! Inc. Ed’s skill and expertise are credited with helping GeoCities become one of the most successful internet sites of its era.
Subsequent to his career at GeoCities, Ed continued to devote himself to his husband, Rob, as well as being a major financial and volunteer contributor to a number of organizations, in particular, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. GLSEN’s work focuses on facilitating and promoting greater awareness and appreciation of LGBT issues among K-12 students around the country through GLSEN-sponsored student groups.
Ed was known for a quintessential talent for cooking and entertaining, a rapier wit and clever sense of humor, and an unmatched dedication to his family and friends. He was proud to be the popular “Uncle Ed” for many children and adults well beyond his immediate family. Ed leaves this world a better place, and he leaves behind a wide circle of family and friends who are inspired to honor his memory and his heroic struggle. Along with his husband, Rob, he is survived by his brothers and sisters-in-law, Terry and June Pierce, and Tim and Janet Pierce, along with beloved nieces and nephews.
Donations can be made in Ed’s memory to GLSEN at glsen.org, and to the Youth and Family Programs at the Los Angeles LGBT Center at lalgbtcenter.org. In accordance with Ed’s wishes, no formal memorial service is planned. We ask only that he be remembered for his selfless dedication to children, family and friends.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from October 24 to October 25, 2015.