LEONARD GORELICK

Obituary
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GORELICK--Leonard, D.D.S., died on May 5, after a long illness. He had combined a career in dentistry with a passion for science and art to make significant contributions in the study of technologies used to make ancient seals and other objects. An article in the New York Times, in 1981, described Dr. Gorelick's work as "shedding light on how ancient man transformed stones into works of art and instruments of commerce." Born in 1922, he emigrated to the United States from Ukraine with his family as a very young child, settling in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Tilden High School and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1942. Then, he served in the Navy in both World War II and the Korean War. Dr. Gorelick received his D.D.S. and Postgraduate Certificate in Orthodontics from New York University College of Dentistry. In 1944, Len Gorelick married Shirley Fishman. They had two children, Jamie Gorelick, a Washington, D.C. lawyer and a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and Steven Gorelick, the Cyrus F. Tolman Professor at Stanford University. Shirley Gorelick was an artist - a painter, sculptor and teacher - and much of their life together involved the making and appreciation of art. Dr. Gorelick combined his interest in the scientific aspects of orthodonture - especially, electron microscopy - with his love for and interest in ancient cylinder seals, in which he became quite expert. He eventually built one of the world's finest collections of seals, celebrated in a book called "The Mark of Ancient Man: Ancient Near Eastern Stamp Seals and Cylinder Seals: The Gorelick Collection", which accompanied a show of that name at The Brooklyn Museum. These seals are now part of the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum. He was often consulted by scholars and served on the Visiting Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Ancient Near East Department. He co-authored "Ancient Seals and the Bible" as well as over forty-five scholarly papers on techniques that can be used to date and explain ancient seals and other artifacts. They are collected in the Special Collections and University Archives at Stony Brook. Dr. Gorelick also edited the Journal of the Queens County Dental Society and was President of the Society. He was the long-time editor of the Forum of the Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center, with which he was affiliated, and became Associate Professor in the Department of Children's Dentistry (Orthodontics) at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Gorelick's wife, Shirley, died in 2000. He leaves his sister, Beatrice, her husband Leonard, and their children Anne, Richard and Scott. He was a loving father and father-in-law of Jamie Gorelick, Dr. Richard Waldhorn, Steven Gorelick and Stephanie Knott, and he was the proud and affectionate grandfather of artist Alyssa Gorelick (and her husband, Max Warsh) and Daniel and Dana Waldhorn, all of whom brought him great joy. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Shirley Gorelick Fund at the National Museum for Women in the Arts.

Published in The New York Times on May 8, 2011
bullet Korean War bullet NYU bullet U.S. Navy bullet World War II