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Ronald Davis, MD, aged 52, passed away on 6 November 2008 after a courageous 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Ron’s star shone very brightly, albeit too briefly in the medical community. He graduated medical school from the University of Chicago, where he also received a Master of Arts in Public Policy Studies. He trained at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both as a field epidemiologist and as a preventive medicine resident. Following his training, he served as the first director of the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) when CDC assumed responsibility for OSH in 1987. During his tenure, he worked closely with Surgeon-General C Everett Koop and oversaw publication of three landmark Surgeon-General’s reports: Nicotine Addiction, 25 Years of Progress and Smoking Cessation. Subsequently, he served as chief medical officer for the Michigan Department of Public Health, until assuming his most recent position as director, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.
At the world conference in Perth in April 1990, Ron convened a meeting of 25 leaders in tobacco control, from a variety of countries, where the concept for a new scientific journal devoted solely to tobacco control was hatched.1 Ron and others helped pitch the idea to the British Medical Journal Publishing Group which accepted the concept idea and later appointed Ron as the founding editor of Tobacco Control: an International Journal. Ron served as the editor of Tobacco …