Martin Solomon WAS typography. Yet for a giant in the field he was always very humble. He never let his talents go to his head, and part of his charm was that he was a very modest man.
I never had Martin as a teacher back when I went to Parsons (1983-87) but I knew from all of my friends that he was one of best in the field. Martin Solomon taught typography the old fashion way by making his students trace and render every single letter of a classic typeface. In an era of color xerox machines this struck us kids as very odd - but it's the one real way to learn typography. In addition to being a great type teacher he also wrote several good books on typography and did some great design work along the way.
There will be a service for him planned by the Type Directors Club scheduled for Wednesday evening, 10 May 2006 in the FIT Amphitheater.
Here is an official bio from a conference in 2002:
Graphic designer, artist, and educator Martin Solomon studied Communication design at New York University and Pratt Institute. During his first professional years he worked at advertising agencies BBDO and Doyle Dane Bernbach. He is the author of The Art of Typography; his area of major contribution to the contemporary graphic design industry. The typographical logos he designed for Hyundai, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, Fisher Price, and Volvo Automobiles are recognized worldwide. Nowadays, he is the director of Martin Solomon Company, a business he founded in 1961 and is dedicated to teaching, exhibiting his work and participating in conferences around the world.