Tob Control 8:444-445 doi:10.1136/tc.8.4.444
  • Obituary

Ernst L Wynder MD DrSc hc (mult) Dr med hc, 1922-1999

  1. New York, NY, USA

      A man's life of any worth is a continued allegory, and very few eyes, can see the mystery of his life— Keats, 1819

      Ernst L Wynder, honorary life member of the American Association of Cancer Research, and president and founder of the American Health Foundation, passed away on July 14, 1999. His fervour towards disease prevention, his inspiration, and his networking efforts in the cancer research community will be very much missed. He surely is among those whose epitaphs will be written over and over, as it is even at his death impossible to evaluate the full impact of his life's work.

      The legacy of Ernst Wynder as a disease prevention pioneer of the 20th century is a seed that will reach its full harvest only as coming generations will mature. The allegorical meanings of the knowledge and wisdom he has left us will translate into future generations with healthier lifestyles, especially better nutrition, and higher self esteem, because these individuals will know at an early age what their parents and grandparents learned only late in life and were reluctant to accept: lifestyle and environment when handled properly, can lead us to a long, healthy, and productive life, even if our genetic predisposition makes us high risk candidates for cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other debilitating illness.

      Born in Herford, Germany, in 1922, he arrived in the USA in 1938, earned a BA at New York University, and toward the end of the second world war found himself back in Germany as a US Army intelligence officer. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he began the study of medicine at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, with the renowned thoracic surgeon …

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