Ronald Salovey

Ronald Salovey

Dr. Ronald Salovey, 85 years old, of Encinitas, California and formerly of Rancho Palos Verdes, California died of natural causes at Seacrest Village Retirement Community on June 27, 2018. Dr. Salovey was born in Jerusalem on July 11, 1932 and was raised primarily in Bronx, New York. He later lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts; New Providence, New Jersey; and Williamsville, New York, before settling with his wife and their three children on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 1975.

After graduating from Bronx High School of Science, Dr. Salovey attended City College of New York and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Brooklyn College. He then went on to earn a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University, studying under Professor Paul Doty. A polymer chemist whose research focused on how irradiation changes the physical properties of plastics, he held positions at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey and Hooker Research Company in Grand Island, New York. In 1975, he was recruited to the University of Southern California to develop a polymer science program, and served as the John Robert Fluor Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. A beloved teacher and mentor, Professor Salovey published many articles in scientific journals and shared a patent that characterized how highly cross-linked polyethylene could be used as a safe and effective material for durable hip replacement products. He retired from the USC faculty fifteen years ago.

Dr. Salovey was a member of Congregation Ner Tamid and loved, for many years, hiking the Peninsula with the Sierra Club. He was a devoted fan of American folk music, and enjoyed discussing American and Israeli politics with friends. He was predeceased by his wife of sixty-three years, Elaine, and is survived by three children, Peter Salovey (Marta Elisa Moret), Todd Salovey (Diane Boomer), and Devora Farrell (Al Farrell), a brother, David Salovey, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

His funeral service will be held graveside at Green Hills Memorial Park on Thursday, June 28 at 3:00 pm. Shiva will be observed at the home of Todd Salovey and Diane Boomer in La Jolla, California. In his final years, Dr. Salovey coped admirably with end-stage renal disease, and so his family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Ronald Salovey Kidney Research Fund at the University of Southern California, c/o Mary Ann Schwartz, Office of the Dean, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90089. Please sign the guestbook at

Published in Daily Breeze on June 29, 2018