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TAPPER--Dr. Michael L., died at age 75 on March 6, 2020. Son of Dr. Albert Tapper and Jean Leitner of Queens NY, Dr. Tapper graduated from Columbia college and Columbia medical school and trained in internal medicine at Harlem Hospital, and in infectious disease at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He served for many years as Chief of Infectious Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital where he also established and directed an early New York State-sponsored center for AIDS research and care. Dr. Tapper sat on several CDC committees, was past president of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists and a member of a number of New York State and New York City Departments of Health task forces, and was a frequent speaker at national and international HIV and epidemiology meetings. He was uncompromising in his advocacy for patients under his care and served as a role model for successive generations of housestaff. Apart from his medical activities, Dr. Tapper was extremely committed to Columbia College, a dedicated participant in its fencing team as an undergraduate, and was a lifelong lover of music and supporter of the Metropolitan Opera. He is survived by his sister, Helaine Gold. Dr. Tapper will be extremely missed by friends and colleagues. Memorial to be held at Columbia University at a later date. Donations in his name can be made to Columbia College, undergraduate school.

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Published in New York Times on Mar. 10, 2020.
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13 entries
June 20, 2020
I felt saddened to know that Dr. Michael L. Tapper has passed away. I came to know him when I took care of her parents for 17 years till their deaths. He was a very caring person which he had manifested in caring for his parents. Hes like an elder brother to me. When he was diagnosed with carcinoma, he called me to tell me about the bad news. I offered him my help but he told me that he lost too much weight that he did not want me to see him in that condition. From time to time we spoke and gave him him encouragement to fight it. The last time I spoke with him was late February but then I was in the Philippines and was locked down due to pandemic. I am now back in NY but shocked to know that he has passed away. I felt so sad that I was not able to see him & offered the help that I could have done before his death. I will pray for the repose of your soul. Rest In Peace Dr. Michael. You will surely be missed.
Edilberto J. Calamanan
March 21, 2020
Dr. Tapper was my son's doctor when he came down with a mysterious illness about 7 years ago. He came to the hospital on Thanksgiving eve to be there for my son but also for me. He stayed by our side not only until my son was stabilized but until iI was calm which was about 2 in the morning. He was thorough in researching my son's history and uncompromising in his care. We became friends and my heart goes out to his friends, colleagues and family. The world lost a special person.
Allison Menkes
March 20, 2020
Mike was a wonderful colleague and friend. We shared many great experiences around the world over 25 years. He will be greatly missed by all.
March 20, 2020
A great friend, colleague and physician. I will think of him and miss him daily. Rest in peace my dear friend....
Eric Daar
March 16, 2020
I knew Michael for more than 20 years. I was an editor of HIV and influenza materials he helped create for physicians. We became friends and stayed in touch. He was always generous with his time and advice. I will miss him. Deepest condolences. Brett Moskowitz (bsmoskowitz@mac.com)
Brett Moskowitz
March 16, 2020
Mike was a colleague of mine at Lenox Hill Hospital for more than 40 years. He was respected educator who always "kept the bar high," a humanist,an uncompromising chief of the Infectious Disease Service, and a doctor who felt that the patient should always come first.His style of practice was about getting a careful history and a thoughtful analysis of the data. As future generations of physicians are trained, that style will be missed.
Alan Pollock
March 14, 2020
Met Dr Tapper at Sloan Kettering 1973-75 when I worked in clinical microbiology lab. Always concerned and caring. My condolences to his family
Madeline Spenillo
March 13, 2020
I met Mike during my undergraduate years at Columbia College. and continued our friendship through the years at P&S. He was an involved and unusual person who continued that style throughout his career.
Gary Foulks, MD
March 13, 2020
We met the first day of medical school by force of alphabetical proximity and worked together for the next seven years. Mike was an inner-directed person with an outgoing personality and a big heart.
Stephen Shafer
March 11, 2020
Mike was a special person who cared very deeply for thousands of patients and who mentored hundreds of residents. He was a great advocate for HIV patients at an early point in the NYC epidemic. Mike will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues.
Mark Barnes
March 11, 2020
Dr. Tapper, Director of the Lenox Hill Designated AIDS center, we all worked with him to create a unit where patients felt welcome, cared for and loved all the days of their lives
Ellen Matzer
March 10, 2020
Julia Slavin
March 10, 2020

Doctor Tapper was a dear friend and wonderful teacher. His presence will be sorely missed by the entire staff of Lenox Hill Hospital.
Harold Bornstein, MD
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