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A Piece of My Mind
March 19, 2008

My Father

JAMA. 2008;299(11):1235-1236. doi:10.1001/jama.299.11.1235

My father was a purposeful and strong-willed man. When he announced that he was dying, I tended to believe him. That he was in his early 90s lent this statement some credibility. But there was nothing ostensibly wrong with him, no disease process or growing tumor. Even his mind was still sharp.

He had been the child of Jewish immigrants from a small town in what is now Belarus. He grew up poor, a child of the Depression, but attended City College in New York and won a scholarship to Harvard Law School. World War II intervened after his graduation, and return to civilian life afterward in New York found him with a wife and infant son (me). Soon he would join his two older brothers in the building/real estate business, and this supported us for several decades until he ultimately returned to the practice of real-estate law.