Irving Paul Ackerman M.D.
1928 - 2020
March 20, 1928 - July 24, 2020 On Friday, July 24, 2020, Irving Paul Ackerman, M.D., died peacefully in Los Angeles. Irv, Dad, Grandpa or Dr. Ackerman, as he was known, touched many lives with his humanity, good nature and outstanding healing skills.At 16, during wartime, Irv attended Columbia University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in two years. He began Columbia Medical School at the age of 18 and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha fraternity. His residency was at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and his fellowship in Endocrinology was at the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Irv returned to MGH to begin his practice and married Mona Bentley. While living in Massachusetts, the Ackermans had three daughters. Irv thrived taking care of patients, yet he felt strongly that fee-for-service medicine was not a good model for health care. So, in 1970 with Mona's full support, he moved the family to California to join Kaiser Permanente. Irv, Mona and the girls, along with three kittens, spent two weeks driving across the country and visiting family as they made their way to Los Angeles. It was quite an adventure!Once there, Irv began his long and fulfilling career with the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, practicing the kind of medicine he truly believed in. Shortly after joining, Irv became the Chief of Internal Medicine, a post he held for 12 years. He was famous for the Ackerman note, a handwritten note sent to many a physician complimenting them on a job well done. Irv was a doctor's doctor and many physicians and their wives became his patients. Through the years, he held many titles, earned numerous awards and recognitions, and was loved by patients and staff. He also mentored many doctors, not just in good medicine, but also in how to see each patient as an individual and provide kind, respectful care. Irv continued teaching medical residents until he was 84 and loved every minute of it. So did Kaiser Permanente. In 2000 the library at the Los Angeles Medical Center was named after Irv. It was a fitting honor given his intellectual rigor. Within and outside of medicine, Irv lived by his ideals. He exercised regularly (always taking the stairs, swimming daily through most of the year and eating a healthy diet), was a record-breaking blood donor, gave generously to the causes he believed in and volunteered at free clinics and voting polls. He was very close to his daughters, Diane, Laurie and Sandra, their husbands, Douglas, Jama and Matthew, his grandchildren, Benjamin, Julia, Mariam, Sofia, William and Spencer and his nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed. Irv's favorite charities are Southern Poverty Law Center (, Planned Parenthood (, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (, or American Jewish World Service ( To leave a memory or tribute, please go to
Published by Los Angeles Times on Aug. 7, 2020.
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