Michael Hertz, who helped design New York City’s subway map, dies at 87

Written by Taylor Romine, CNNLaura Ly, CNN

Michael Hertz, whose design firm produced the New York City subway map, has died, his son Eugene Hertz confirmed to CNN. He was 87.

Hertz died of natural causes on February 18 at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York, his son said.

“In transit map circles, Mike was a giant,” Chuck Gordanier, the chief of marketing and advertising for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement. “All New Yorkers carry some image of Mike’s subway map in their heads.”

New York commuters walk past a New York subway map in 2008.

New York commuters walk past a New York subway map in 2008. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

A version of the map that Hertz and his associates made is still in use today, with various updates and improvements made since its official adoption in 1998, according to the MTA.

“Mike’s designs have guided millions of our customers and his legacy lives on in today’s subway map, which is based on his work and which we’re continually updating,” Gordanier said.

Hertz developed and designed the subway map with input from a committee of transit and outside experts. The design helped to make it easier to understand the subway service, according to the MTA.

Related video: Uncovering New York’s architectural layers

He was also known for his work at Walt Disney and for designing the graphics for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the MTA said.

The MTA, which includes the New York City subway system, serves 15.3 million people across New York City, Long Island, southeastern New York state and Connecticut, and is the largest public transportation network in North America.


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