John Christian Bailar

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BAILAR John Christian Bailar, III, MD John Christian Bailar III, MD, a resident of Mitchellville, Maryland, died Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at the age of 83. Born in Urbana, Illinois to John and Florence (Catherwood) Bailar, John was beloved by family and friends for his rigorous mind, pursuit of challenge, and persistent humor. He graduated from University High School in Urbana, University of Colorado with a BA in Chemistry (following in his father's footsteps), Yale University with an MD, and the American University (where he met his wife, Barbara) with a Ph.D. in statistics. John began his career as an epidemiologist and biostatistician at the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C. While there, he wrote many seminal papers on breast cancer and mammography, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and the comparisons of different cancer treatments. After two years at the Veterans Administration as Director of Research Services, John returned to the Cancer Institute for another eight years, during which time he was Editor for their journal. After leaving government, John began an academic career, becoming a lecturer at Harvard University, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Statistics at McGill University, and Chair of the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago. During his time at Harvard and McGill, he was also a statistical consultant to the New England Journal of Medicine. He became a Scholar in Residence at the National Academy of Sciences, where he was a frequent member and chair of committees and reviewer of reports. John received many honors and awards over the years. Among these was election to the Collegium Ramazzini, election as a Fellow in the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a distinguished service medal from the Council of Biology Editors. His most distinguished award, and one he valued highly, was a MacArthur Fellowship in 1990. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara Bailar; his brother Benjamin Bailar; his children Elizabeth, John IV, James (Crystal), and Melissa; his step-daughter Pamela Monaco (Don), numerous nieces and nephews, and eight grandchildren. A memorial service is to be conducted at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2016 in the Chapel of Collington Retirement Community, 10450 Lottsford Road, Mitchellville, Maryland. In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial donations may be given to Yale School of Medicine, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs, P.O. Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519. For additional information or to leave an online condolence, please visit

Published in The Washington Post from Sept. 14 to Sept. 18, 2016
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