RIP Dr. Bernard Becker

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of the greatest experts and researchers in the study of glaucoma, Dr. Bernard Becker, who died of a long illness last Wednesday, August 28th, and will be remembered as one of the great ophthalmologists of the 20th century.

Dr. Becker was incredibly knowledgeable in various aspects of ophthalmology, and would often act as a personal librarian to the many who he mentored, spending hours each morning reading the newest journal editions and copying and mailing those articles that he thought would be of interest. He was also known for having an encyclopedic knowledge of the realm of ophthalmology, even about those issues that went unpublished.

Lesser known is his clever solution to ending the policy of segregated wards at Barnes Hospital – he decided to provide the first air conditioning unit to the wards that housed African American eye patients. Before long, all patients were demanding to be housed in the air-conditioned wards, and soon the hospital was integrated.

Becker spoke at an NOAO symposium in 1957 and again in 1966, both times on the topic of glaucoma. Click here to read an article written when Dr. Becker was honored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Laureate Award in 2009. And you can read his full obituary here.

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