Ed Mauger

April 6th, 2020

Ed Mauger was born in Buffalo, NY, on December 24, 1941; he died in Philadelphia on April 1, 2020.  Ed adored his wife, family, and friends.  His love for them, for Philadelphia, for music, and for our shared history was made visible by his devotion, his loving works, and his life’s passions. A brief selection from scholar and colleague George W. Boudreau’s tribute shares a glimpse of the Ed so many knew and admired:  “Ed threw his boundless energy, infectious enthusiasm, expansive intelligence, and loving persona into every aspect of life and work in Philadelphia.  He was a lifelong educator and lifelong student and ‘Philadelphia’s greatest guide.’  Ed was essential in the transformation of the historic district from being drab and dirty to becoming the cultural and economic powerhouse that it is today.  Philadelphia was blessed to have Ed Mauger here these past decades.  In every way he could, he worked to preserve, celebrate, appreciate, and share our historic past and the possibilities for better futures.” Ed Mauger’s extraordinary career began with eight years of instruction at the Carmelite Seminary in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Ed then left his seminary studies behind for an extensive next chapter, finding his true calling in service to students at Rutgers University.  Here, beginning in 1968, he served as Associate Dean. Ed admired – and exemplified – the earthy humor of the Ben Franklin aphorism – “If you wou’d not be forgotten / As soon as you are dead and rotten, / Either write things worth reading, / or do things worth the writing” (Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1738).  With characteristic enthusiasm, Ed opted for both. While Associate Dean, Ed conceived and launched many key, creative initiatives at the Camden Campus: the first Weekend College Program in the Delaware Valley, and the Rutgers Camden Summer Music Festival, which attracted thousands to Camden’s Riverfront.  Many will recall as well, the innovative summer projects he helped originate and support—the Summer Writer’s Program, Art in the Schools, student leadership seminars, and music and theater institutes. One among the many faculty members who attended Ed’s retirement celebration was the world-renowned soprano, Dr. Julianne Baird, who sang several of his favorite Handel arias for the festivities.  Later they would become the best friends and eventually build a wonderful life together. At age 51, following his passion for historic Philadelphia, Ed Mauger began a whole new career – researching Philadelphia history, designing and conducting tours, and creating four popular books on historic Philadelphia and one on Atlantic City.  His unique tours garnered high critical praise from travel writers in major-city newspapers throughout the U.S. and landed him on several national television programs, including “Good Morning America” and “A Taste of History.”  He served as a founding member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, leading the organization to complete a guide manual and certification program and prompting the creation of the “Great 12-Hour Tour” of the city’s cultural and historic sites.  He mentored – and ignited a passion for Philadelphia history and tourism in – more than 200 guides, and he served as president of The Elfreth’s Alley Association.  “Visit Philadelphia,” the city’s official visitor and tourism agency, frequently chose him to create specialized tours for VIP visitors to the city, including one for Pope Francis.  From 1994-2019, he ran his own touring company, “Philadelphia on Foot.”  In March of 2019, he spearheaded the “Avenue of the Founders” project in City Council, which changed two Philadelphia street names:  “Avenue of our Founders” (Market Street between Front Street and Eighth Street, in honor of the country’s founding fathers); and “Avenue to Freedom” (Sixth between Race Street and Lombard Streets, marking key sites of black American history).  He was thrilled that due to his efforts and those of others, Philadelphia became the first “World Heritage City” in the United States. Edward Mauger is survived by his wife, Julianne Baird, sons, Christopher Mauger (Miki), David Mauger (Elyse), daughter, Jessica Stewart (Jason), and son, Luke Peyton (Natalie).  He is also survived by his sister, Annette Williams (Kenneth), and brothers, Robert Mauger (Margaret) and Richard Mauger (Louise).  A sister, Marlene Mauger is deceased.  He is survived, as well, by grandchildren, Sofia and Nadia Mauger.  In keeping with his wishes, his remains will be cremated, with interment in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA.  Edward Mauger’s full, accomplished life, will be celebrated in a Memorial in Philadelphia, PA., at a time when social distancing restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Ed’s name to the charity of your choice.