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July 15, 1919 - December 23, 2012
Leon Morgenstern, MD, surgeon, scholar, humanist, medical researcher and prolific author, died Dec. 23 at home; he was 93. Born in Pittsburgh, he earned his medical degree from NYU College of Medicine, then served two years with the U.S. Army Medical Corps before completing surgical training at Queens General Hospital. He moved to Los Angeles in 1952, joining the medical staff of Cedars of Lebanon in 1953 and that of Mt. Sinai in 1954. In 1960 he became director of surgery at Cedars of Lebanon and then inaugural Chairman for Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a post he held until 1988. After retiring from surgery, Dr. Morgenstern founded the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Cedars-Sinai, which he directed until 2005; he continued as Senior Advisor until his death. He also held academic appointments at UCLA and the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University). Through-out his life, he guided colleagues, students, family and friends with an abundance of compassion and an unfailing moral compass. He is survived by wife Laurie; sons David and Seth; and five grandchildren.
A private funeral was held in late December. Cedars-Sinai will celebrate his life at a special Memorial Program on April 18, 4:00-5:00 pm. Donations in his memory may be made to Cedars-Sinai (call 323-866-2914 or visit https://giving.cedars-sinai.edu/Morgenstern).
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 13 to Apr. 14, 2013