Long Beach State former professor and alumnus Anthony “Tony” Brennan died on April 15 after 15 days in hospice care.
Born in England in 1934, Brennan emigrated to the United States in 1958 when he was 24 years old.
Brennan spent more than 20 years at CSULB teaching film and photography and working with the honors film program. Film and photography weren’t always his passions, though he originally attended Long Beach as a psychology major.
“He just wasn’t successful as a psychology student. Then he took a class in photography and that just ignited him,” said his wife, Regina Brennan.
Brennan graduated from CSULB in 1967 and received a Master’s of Fine Arts from UCLA in 1977. He got his start at CSULB while still at UCLA when a friend of his asked him to fill in for a photography professor who was on sabbatical.
During his time at UCLA, he became good friends with August Coppola, the younger brother of Ford Coppola, the director of “The Godfather.” August Coppola and Brennan would go on to teach an honors film class together at Long Beach.
“Auggy and Tony did a class called The Film and the Novel,” Regina Brennan said. “Tony did the film portion of the class and Auggy did the novel portion.”
According to his wife, Brennan was a great lover of music and enjoyed marrying his two passions of music and photography, often photographing CSULB’s annual blues festival on campus. He eventually rose to become the director of media development at Long Beach State.
Toward the end of his career in the late ‘90s he worked with a production team to create an oral history of CSULB.
“The project was to create an oral history of Cal State Long Beach during the early days, and about 30 faculty and staff were interviewed,” his wife said.
When the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden opened on campus in 1981, Brennan jumped at the opportunity to be the first to photograph the addition to campus.
After retiring from teaching in 1999, Brennan worked at a Northern California public radio station, KRCB, and hosted a show called “Around Midnight,” highlighting his favorite music from around the world.
Regina Brennan said that if there was one thing she’d want the world to know about her late husband it would be how “he loved life and he loved the creativity and he absolutely did not suffer fools gladly.”