NEHA December 2022 Journal of Environmental Health

58 Volume 85 • Number 5 The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) was saddened to learn of the deaths of the following individuals. We extend our sympathies to the families, friends, and colleagues of these individuals. Each had a profound impact on our profession and the people around them. All will be greatly missed. Ronald Cohen Ronald “Doc” Cohen passed away in June 2022. He was born in August 1926 in New York City. He was a licensed pharmacist, public health o‰cer, electrician, exterminator, high school teacher, university instructor, veteran of World War II, navy reservist, postal worker, and inventor. He was a fellow of the World Health Organization and the Royal Society for Public Health. He edited such diverse professional and scholarly publications as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Environmental Health, and New York State Sanitarian. He was also the occupational health editor for JAMA and was consulted frequently for his expertise in public health. In 1996, Cohen was the recipient of the prestigious Richard J. Sullivan Award that honors a New Jersey resident who “demonstrates exceptional leadership and outstanding accomplishment in safeguarding public health, protecting and enhancing New Jersey’s diverse natural resources, and creating vibrant, sustainable communities that provide economic opportunity for all.” Cohen held a doctorate in philosophy from New York University in public health administration, two master’s degrees in public health and pharmacy, and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. He worked in public health departments in New York City, New York; North Bergen County, New Jersey; and the Middlebrook Regional Health Commission in Bound Brook, New Jersey. Cohen’s contributions to public health were numerous. He succeeded in eliminating carbon monoxide poisoning in New York City tenements in the 1950s by inventing an automatic shut-o™ device for heaters and boilers. He detected and helped address Karposi’s sarcoma in the early stages of the AIDS epidemic. He worked tirelessly to reduce cancer incidence in central New Jersey. Cohen also developed computerized environmental hazard response strategies for local public health authorities and determined that the fouling of beaches in New Jersey resulted from medical waste disposal. He testified before Congress on environmental health issues at the invitation of Senator Millicent Fenwick (R-NJ) and also served as part of a World Health Organization asbestos task force in Israel, South Africa, the Soviet Union, and the UK. According to his family, he was friendly to all and sought to address racism and prejudice throughout his long life. The town of Middlesex, New Jersey, established a “Doc Cohen” day to recognize his many contributions to the community and its people. Source: Obituary provided by Mark Cohen. Larry J. Gordon Larry J. Gordon passed away in April 2022. Gordon, a giant of the environmental health field, was born in Oklahoma and grew up in New Mexico. After graduating high school and attending several semesters of college, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1944. He was stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and worked as a pharmacist assistant. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, he went to the University of New Mexico and earned bachelor and master degrees in biology and chemistry. In 1950, Gordon saw an advertisement for a “sanitarian” position that required a degree plus a car. He had both and took the job with the county health department in Silver City, New Mexico. Gordon earned his master of public health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1954. After earning his degree, he went to work for the city of Albuquerque as chief sanitarian and later as director of the Division of Environmental Health. He held this position for several years and was then asked to become director of environmental health for the State Department of Health and Social Services. He held numerous positions within New Mexico, including health commissioner of New Mexico in 1975 and state secretary of Health and Environment in 1987. On June 30, 1988, Gordon retired from public service. After retirement, Gordon served as a visiting professor of public administration with the University of New Mexico and received an honorary doctorate in 2007 for his long-term commitment and leadership in the area of environmental and public health from the University of New Mexico. He also served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was a frequent guest lecturer. Gordon engaged in various national professional associations. He felt that knowing about what they were doing and why they were doing it was of immense value to him as he tried to make decisions about environmental health issues. He was one of the 12 founders of the American Academy of Sanitarians and become one of the first diplomates to achieve laureate status that is bestowed for continued outstanding commitment, leadership, and accomplishments in the environmental health profession. He was a member of the American Public Health Association (served as president from 1980–1981), Conference of Governmental Environmental Health Engineers, and NEHA. He was one of the founders of the Council on Education for Public Health and was a longtime member of the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council. He also served as chair of the National Committee on the Future of Environmental Health and was a senior fellow at the University of New Mexico Institute for Public Policy. Gordon was the recipient of several prestigious public health and environmental health awards. In 1961 he was recipient of the Walter S. Mangold Award, the highest honor given by NEHA. IN MEMORIAM YOUR ASSOCIATION