Samuel Fisher was an athlete, a Harvard graduate and the former president of his university’s Hillel chapter when he passed away unexpectedly on Sunday.
On June 12, Fisher, 24, collapsed shortly after completing the KIC IT Triathlon in Stamford, Connecticut. Medical professionals present on the scene were not able to save Fisher as he was being rushed to the hospital.
“They really worked on him very hard,” Lt. Diedrich Hohn of the Connecticut police told the Stanford Advocate. “I went up there and they did everything they possibly could do for this poor kid. They used electric shock, CPR and medicines. Unfortunately, it was his time.”
The triathlon, of which Fisher completed both the swimming and running portion, was organized to benefit the Kids in Crisis charity.
Fisher, who grew up in Newton, Mass. but moved to New York City for his work, had graduated from Harvard in 2015 and worked as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs for a year. During his time at university, he was actively involved with the school’s Hillel chapter — he was elected as the organization’s president in 2013 — and spent summers interning at banking giants such as Credit Suisse and Ernst & Young.
Aaron Grand, 20, met Fisher in 2014 as a freshman at Harvard’s first Hillel Shabbat dinner of the year. Despite Fisher’s position as Hillel President and a college senior, he spent the entire evening chatting with Grand and his friend about careers, Jewish fraternities and relationships.
Fisher would often invite younger students such as Grand to hang out in his room while he introduced them to the ropes of life at Harvard.
“It was so kind of him — we didn’t really know anyone on campus, had nothing to do, and he, someone with tons of friends, dedicated numerous weekend nights to spending time with us,” said Grand.
For Paige GoldMarche, Fisher was the first person she met when she started at Harvard as a Hillel advisor. She was trying to find the way to the building through traffic and Fisher rushed to help her with directions.
“He was always so gracious and humble, and I feel blessed to have known him,” she said. “The world has lost a true mensch, but our memories and interactions with him will never be forgotten.”
Avi Levy met Fisher when the two studied together at Yeshivat Orayta in Jerusalem. He was immediately drawn in by Fisher’s commitment to his education — Fisher particularly enjoyed reading, thinking about philosophical questions, and playing the cello.
“When I first met him I could tell instantly that he was someone who was going to do great things with his life because of how humble he was and he was someone to always look up to everyday,” said Levy.
Levy, who studied in Boston at the same time as Fisher, would often meet with him to catch up on life as the two of them progressed in their careers. To Levy, as to many of the other people who knew Fisher, it is hard to believe that he is really gone.
“As painful as it is to admit that Sam has left this world way too soon, I am comforted knowing that he spent his last moments participating in a charity triathlon, which shows how much of an inspirational person he was,” he said. “I will always remember him as the incredible person he was everyday and will never forget our friendship.”