PEARSON--Clarence E., An entrepreneurial global health and management consultant and networker extraordinaire whose career spanned 60 years, died peacefully at home in New York on May 24, 2014 at 89 from a rare form of cancer. His wife and professional partner, Laurie Norris, survives him. Born in Chicago, Clarence credited his WWII US Army medical corps service and GI Bill of Rights-funded master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill as the start of his career. He was the Founding President and CEO of the National Center for Health Education, the outcome of a Presidential Commission. He served as Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization's Office at the United Nations. As Vice President and Director of Health and Safety Education for MetLife, he was the first person Met hired who was trained in public health education and promotion. He also was key in establishing the MetLife Foundation. He served as Vice President of the former Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management. Clarence created and served as Executive Editor for a series of books on global health issues (Jossey-Bass/John Wiley), including Global Health & Global Aging. His honors include the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to Education from Columbia University; International Health Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association; Advocacy Award, American Federation for Aging Research and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill. Clarence loved to help people in transition, from students to seasoned colleagues. He served on the boards of AARP, American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), International Federation on Ageing, and the Board of Overseers of the Dartmouth Medical School's C. Everett Koop Institute. He was a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, a member of the Roundtable on Health Literacy, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Vitality Institute Commission. He directed a management training program in Moscow, New Leaders of Russia, and served as a public health consultant in the former Yugoslavia and Central America for US government agencies and NGOs. Clarence's son Scott and first wife June Wahlde predeceased him. His parents, Irene Silander and Edward Pearson, emigrated from Sweden, where Clarence's ashes will be interred. Clarence's legacy is the people he mentored and advised during his multifaceted life, including interns he and Laurie support through patient advocacy and worldview internships. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to AFAR/Clarence Pearson Internship Fund, c/o AFAR, 55 West 39 St., 16th Fl., New York, NY 10018.
Published in The New York Times on June 1, 2014