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June 1998

Gerald B. Kara, MD, 1920-1998

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(6):834. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.6.834

Gerald B. Kara, MD, was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey, in 1920, of Armenian parentage. He died February 18, 1998, after a long illness. His service to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York City, spanned almost a half century.

Gerald B. Kara, MD

Gerald B. Kara, MD

Appointed senior surgeon and chief of service there in 1957, he was considered "the ophthalmologist's surgeon," and lectured and operated all over the world. His patients included baseball's "Babe" Ruth, who—unknown to most—had only one "good" eye. Later at the Infirmary he served as chairman of the Research Committee. He also held appointments at Columbia University's Institute of Ophthalmology; St Mary's Hospital, Hoboken, NJ; St Charles Hospital, Long Island, NY; and Misericordia Hospital, New York City. He served as civilian consultant in ophthalmology to the US Air Force in 1961.

Dr Kara began his medical career at Hahnemann Medical University in Philadelphia, Pa, and continued postgraduate studies at Jersey City Medical Center, Jersey City, NJ; The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary; and the Institute of Ophthalmology, London, England, under Norman Ashton. He then studied with distinguished ophthalmologists such as Bernard Samuel, Algernon Reese, Conrad Behrens, and Daniel Kirby.

While seemingly introverted, Dr Kara was known by friends as a person of wit and great repartee. A fine historian, he wrote for the New York Medical Journal on "Two Hundred Years of Ophthalmology in New York State." He was a philatelist, specializing in medical stamps, and a bibliophile, with a fine library of historical, biographical, and medical texts.

He is survived by his wife, Gisela, who had been his personal scrub nurse at the infirmary and during their foreign travels. He is also survived by 2 sisters, 2 nieces, and grandnieces and grandnephews. Gerald B. Kara will be dearly missed by his family, by me—a friend and colleague of many years—and by many other colleagues and grateful patients worldwide.