Irwin M. Berent:

 • "Every Square Inch of Norfolk" Books  
 • Norfolk Deeds, Billheads, Links & More  
 • Hampton Roads Jewish History



Author / Speaker / Consultant / Researcher


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Irwin M. Berent, director and chief editor of the Every Square Inch of Norfolk Project and Books (and webmaster for this site), is a historian, geographer, writer, ethicist, lecturer, genealogist, and archivist who has written more than ten books on subjects as diverse as geography, Norfolk history, Jewish genealogy, Virginia Jewish history, Civil War ironclad USS Monitor crewmen, social interaction, word origins, drug policy, economic conservatism, and Christian fundamentalism. As an ethicist, he manages the Your Code of Ethics project (, which promotes personal and professional codes of ethics and other forms of declarations to do the right things.

His most notable and most recent project, the Every Square Inch of Norfolk books, is but one of a long line of a lifetime of productivity in research and authorship. From 1986 to 1990, Mr. Berent compiled a detailed, ground-breaking 12-part series of articles covering the 20th-century history of the Jewish community of Norfolk, of which his book published by JewishHistoryUSA (Norfolk, Virginia: A Jewish History of the 20th Century) is a much-expanded version.

In addition, he is an internationally published wordsmith who has co-authored with Dr. Rod Evans several books, including Getting Your Words' Worth (Warner Books, 1993), Weird Words (Berkley Publishing Group, 1995), More Weird Words (Berkley, 1995), and A Dictionary of Highly Unusual Words (Berkley, 1997), as well as an interpersonal communications book (The Right Words, Warner Books, 1992) and The ABC Of Cat Trivia (with Introduction by Betty White; St. Martin's Press, 1996). He has also co-written with Dr. Evans scholarly works including Fundamentalism: An Analysis of Biblical Inerrancy (Introduction by Isaac Asimov, foreword by Steve Allen, Open Court Publishing, 1988), Drug Legalization: For and Against (with Introduction by Hugh Downs, foreword by Linus Pauling, Open Court, 1992), and The Quotable Conservative (Introduction by William F. Buckley; Adams Publishing Co., 1996).

Mr. Berent co-compiled with David Zubatsky Jewish Genealogy: A Sourcebook of Family Trees and Histories (Avotaynu, 1990), a classic Jewish genealogy reference work. For several years in the 1980s he was the genealogy columnist for the National Jewish Post and Opinion. He is also the founder of the first Jewish genealogy club outside of New York -- the Jewish Genealogical Club of Tidewater, founded 1978. His research on his own family -- whose roots include the Caplans, Glassers, and Shermans of Ligum and Pakroy, Lithuania; the Resniks and Rutenbergs of Papile, Lithuania; the Karps and Goldsteins of Bausk, Latvia, and the Berents and Shapiros of Chorzelle, Poland -- is also extensive.

Mr. Berent also conducted for the Chicago Jewish Archives a published survey of the Jewish communal records of West Rogers Park, the last major Jewish section of Chicago. He has also written on and researched extensively the history of the shtetl-like, orthodox community of Berkley, Virginia, now a suburb of Norfolk (it was for his research on this topic that he received the American Jewish Historical Society's first annual Local History Essay Prize in 1980).

He has also served as archivist of the Monitor Research and Recovery Foundation, coordinated the 125th battle anniversary "reunion" of the descendants of the Monitor and Virginia (Merrimack) crews, and compiled The Crewmen of the USS Monitor: A Biographical Directory (N.O.A.A., N.C. Div. of Archives and History, 1985). His Monitor/Merrimack crew collection is housed at the Mariner's Museum Archives in Newport News.

Listed in the 2000 to 2007 editions of Who's Who In America (as well as Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1999), Mr. Berent holds a Master's degree in American History (his thesis covered the history of North Carolina's capitol square monuments and statues), and he speaks on a wide variety of social issues including fundamentalism, drug policy, and media violence. He is also the president and web-designer for the Writers SuperCenter (, a leading Internet-based reseller of writer's software for business, non-fiction, and fiction. Additionally, he is co-creator (with John Jarvis) of StoryCraft Software, a major fiction-writing program; and in his spare time, he collects letterheads and billheads of 19th-century Norfolk businesses. Finally, but not leastly, he is editor and publisher of Hampton Roads Times.

Mr. Berent is available to speak to groups on any subject of his expertise or experience. He also offers consulting and researching on Norfolk properties (see his research for hire). Contact information is below.


Mr. Berent may be reached at , or call 757/515-4315 or write to:

     Irwin Berent
     c/o Berent Writers SuperCenter
     1300 Lincoln Rd. E., #17
     Vallejo, CA 94591

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