Broken Pipe Joe Harb

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Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
Sad to report that I learned Joe Harb passed away recently. Many of you know Joe from his Tobacco Reviews in Pipes and Tobacco's Magazine. I went back with him over 20 years via the #Pipes Chat group and later as Brothers in The Milwaukee Area Pipe Society that he was founding member of. He was a force in putting on the great run of very successful MAPS Pipe Shows in the 2000's.

Joe and I had similar tastes in pipes and through his trust in me I was able to a some great Dunhill's and Castello's to my collection. Over the years he bought three new Dunhills at a deep discount with me in mind not knowing I would want them but of course I did. I'm smoking one of them tonight in his memory, a 2002 oda 848 Shell with a very good blast. RIP Joe.



Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
This is sad news indeed. I got to know Joe at the 2011 Throwdown in Chicago, and we maintained a friendly relationship after that, having had a number of great conversations. He will be missed.



Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
Seems like he was a really interesting fellow. RIP, until we meet where all blends burn down to a fine white ash.



Preferred Member
Jul 2, 2010
You could always count on Joe Harb's reviews in P&T to have class and refinement. Sad news indeed.



Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
I met him in person for the first time at the Chicago show last year. I always enjoyed his reviews. He will be missed. RIP.



New member
Apr 14, 2011
Seattle Pipe Club
What sad news that is. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe when my brothers and I created the Balakan Sobranie Throwdown in 2011. We asked Joe to be on the panel of judges with Rick Newcombe and Neill Archer Roan. Joe's renowned tobacco knowledge and superb taste abilities brought a sober, professional judging to the panel. Amazingly gracious and one of the nicest guys I've ever met in the pipe community. I realize everyone has to go sometime but this talented gentleman will certainly be missed while he will be appreciated for all his many contributions to our pipes and tobacco.



Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
Damn, damn, damn. I never had the pleasure of meeting Joe, but I knew him through the old Yahoo Pipesmokers 2 group. Always a helpful guy - his comments were a big help to me when I picked up the pipe again around 2003 after 15 years or so of primarily smoking cigars. Rest in peace, Joe- my next bowl will be in your memory.



Staff member
May 11, 2011
Joe sounds like a gentleman that I would have liked to have met. What a great article, thanks for sharing that.

Who fills those kind of big shoes? RIP Joe.



Junior Member
May 7, 2017
Bettendorf, IA
I was just writing a review of one of Joe's tobaccos and ran across this thread when I was searching for some info. Very, very sad to hear this. I used to be on the P&T forums and struck up a friendship with Joe and he was very kind to me. He once offered me a ridiculous good deal on a Castello but I was out of money, work and had 3rd baby on the way. He would have let me pay him later but I declined with my financial uncertainty. He was so great about sharing his knowledge of tobacco and pipes with me. I have an Ardor purchased on his recommendation and it's a wonderful pipe. Unfortunately I have strayed in and out of the hobby the last 6 years and not seen him at the Chicago show the last few years.
One of my favorite all time tobaccos was a blend he created for Jack's Tobacco called Mangy Dog; it is perhaps my favorite English/Perique mixture ever. With Jacks closed I had hoped to see him this year because I was going to ask him to blend me some or beg him for the recipe but I was only there on Friday night and Saturday and didn't hear of his passing.
It was always a joy to talk with him about his collection. He spoke to me as my pipe collecting mentor and it took me a while to understand that; when he told me things he really meant them for my best how he wanted me to have that Castello....he wasn't just trying to sell me a pipe, he wanted me to have that pipe because he knew what it was.
I was just smoking some of his Teton Mountian Dog mixture last night. Feeling very fortunate to have known him yet wishing I could have spoke him one more time. Cheers to a kind human being and great pipe man. RIP.



New member
Oct 25, 2009
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Very sad news, indeed. A top grade broken pipe, Joe was a gentleman and a scholar. His knowledge of tobaccos was wide and deep, his blending talents were on par with the best, and he communicated them brilliantly in writing, in person, and in smoke. He knew his pipes and shared them and his wisdom with fairness, kindness and grace.

A pipeman of the first rank, he'll be greatly missed by those who knew him, and by those who knew his excellent writing and reputation. He was a man from whom I learned much and truly respected.
Requiescat in Pace.




Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
I had a mental picture of Mr. Harb as a younger man, so I was surprised by the image of him in mattguss' post above. According to his obituary (Joseph Harb) he was 78. I will miss his knowledgable and thoughtful disquisitions, many of which enticed me to sample the pipe-tobaccos about which he wrote. I raise my pipe to you, Sir!



Preferred Member
Oct 4, 2014
Good day Gentlemen,
I just found out about my friend Joe Harb's death and to say the least I am absolutely emotionally devastated. Joe and I met on the old Yahoo group Stoker's Haven about 12 years ago. There were not many members at that time and the group was struggling over some debacle regarding proprietary use of the name. But everyone was unique and distinctly was quite joyous to have the conversations we had on a multiplicity of topics.Joe was always quiet and unassuming as many men of the pipe are...solitary figures, individualistic thinkers, people walking paths less taken.
Joe was a very well-educated man, having degrees from Tulane as high as a Doctorate in electron microscopy. He was brilliant. Additionally, he worked for the World Health Organization assisting them in their endeavors to fight infectious diseases back in the day.
When we first met online Joe had told me he worked as a janitor I have to laugh at the humble, sensitive researcher he always a good BS'er.
Joe would Delight every year in preparing his vintage Mercedes for the winter to be stored or prepping it after the winter to take out...a convertible it was...ran well too.
Joe had deep respect for his wife's father who was a military man in the Second World War I believe. He gifted Joe some precious pipes that Joe valued highly and spoke of in an interview you can find online if you care to search.
Joe gave me some pipes and tobacco and tons of advice. I sent him some red Virginia, ribbon.
Indeed his very favorite tobacco was a red Virginia from McClelland that he would smoke often.
There were times when we sort of had some distance with emails, but he would pop up and say..."hey things are quiet" and then I'd start a conversation and we would bounce back and forth for a little while until the topic had ended and then repeat that way over the years.
I think one of the most moving things a person can do for another person is affect their hearts and minds equally so. Joe definitely did this for me. I will miss you my friend.
God will hold you, always.

With Love,


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