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Leon Wallace

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Leon Wallace Obituary
Wallace, Leon
August 12, 1920 - November 27, 2009
Born in New York City to Rose and Abe Wallace, Leon moved to Los Angeles in 1935 where he attended Beverly Hills High School and the University of Southern California. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of Medicine in 1944 and did postgraduate training at Bellevue Hospital in New York and Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. He was one of the first physicians to be Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Cardiology and became a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Cardiology.

Leon entered private practice in July 1947. He was known as a consummate internist and cardiologist based at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for 60 years (except for honorable service in the United States Army during the Korean War where he earned the rank of Captain) until his retirement on December 31, 2007, at the age of 86. During this time, Leon cared for over 30,000 patients and combined clinical acumen with a passionate and caring disposition. He took his own weekend and night calls and made hospital rounds every day for all 60 years. A modest individual who never promoted himself, it did not matter to him whether he volunteered at an indigent clinic or acted as the internist to Hollywood luminaries. He was always available to provide funny stories, puns, solace, and access to the best consultants for his patients. His research included publications and pioneering work in electrocardiography and pulmonary hypertension, and he lectured around the world.

Leon was passionate about art all his life, starting with lessons at the Pratt Institute of Art in New York at age 5. He loved to paint and was a founding member of Manus at UCLA's Fowler Museum of Cultural History. He was also active in the L.A. County Art Museum, Fellows of Contemporary Art, and the Ethnic Arts Council, among others.

A loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather who always answered the question how are you feeling, with "great", he was predeceased by his brother William Wallace (daughter Meredith <David> Rish) and leaves his wife of 64 years Fern Wixen Wallace, their children Laura and Dr. Daniel (Janice) Wallace, grandchildren Naomi, Phillip, Sarah and Gillian, new great grandson Samuel, and cousin Rachel <Bernard> Waller. Services will be private and a memorial will take place in a few weeks. Donations are to be sent to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Division of Cardiology or Rheumatology.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 1, 2009
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