Michael Hertz, the man who helped design the famous New York City subway map, died at the age of 87.
His death was confirmed by his son Eugene, who announced that his father died on February 18 at the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.
His cause of death has not been revealed.
Hertz is best known as the man behind the map of the New York City subway system, which is still used by commuters and tourists to navigate the city today.
Michael Hertz (photo), the man who helped design the famous New York City subway map, died at the age of 87
Hertz is best known as the man behind the map of the New York City subway system (above), which is still used by commuters and tourists to navigate the city today
In 1979, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority hired the Hertz company, Michael Hertz Associates, to come up with a new subway system map that would make it easier and easier for drivers to find their way.
The map that was used at the time, made by Italian designer Massimo Vignelli and introduced in 1972, was largely unpopular.
It looked nice and colorful. But the underground and above-ground landscape of the city was wrong.
The Hertz team set to work to create a version that would be easily readable by everyone from tourists to local residents.
His map gave a more accurate representation of New York City, with its main features such as Central Park and the city’s waterways more realistic and colored and streets, neighborhoods and other interesting areas clearly labeled.
The Hertz map has been popular for giving a more accurate view of New York City, with its key features such as Central Park and the city’s waterways more realistic and colored and streets, neighborhoods and other interesting areas clearly marked
Hertz later modified his creation in 1998, but the version that New Yorkers view today in subway stations remains largely the same as in 1979.
In 2004 Hertz spoke about his pride in his creation in an interview with The Times.
“I still enjoy a subway station when I see someone in lederhosen looking at the map,” he said.
The map, however, became entangled in a controversy after several claims were made about who was the main brain behind the map.
John Tauranac, who led the MTA commission in map design, is often credited as the “lead designer,” which Hertz in an interview in the New York Times 2012 said where he said, “I design subway maps and he claims to design subway maps. ”
The Hertz map followed the 1972 map of Italian designer Massimo Vignelli (above), who looked nice and colorful, but was not popular because the underground and above-ground landscape of the city did not match
Hertz was born on August 1, 1982 in Brooklyn, New York, to Abraham and Jean Hertz.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from Queens College, he joined the army.
Hertz then joined the Walt Disney Company and worked as an art director for film advertising before founding Michael Hertz Associates in the late 1960s.
It was here that he made a name for himself in the map world, including work on transit cards for Houston and Washington, and maps of New York neighborhoods.
Hertz is survived by his wife, Carole Ann, sons Eugene, David and Joseph, daughter, Leslie and eight grandchildren.