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December 2016

In Memoriam: Milton Alter, MD, PhD (1929-2016)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(12):1504. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.4562

On February 4, 2016, the neurological community lost a founding father of neuroepidemiology, Milton (Meir) Alter. For those of us who had the privilege to work with him, he is remembered as an elegant and scholarly man, a devoted colleague, and family man.

Alter had encyclopedic knowledge, took great pride in sharing information about the fine arts with visitors to his home, and was an avid gardener who tended lovingly to his flock. Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1929, he graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1951 (magna cum laude in psychology) and received a MD degree in 1955 at the same university. Following internship in medicine at the University of Minnesota, and residency in Neurology at the University of Minnesota under the direction of A. B. Baker, MD, a series of fellowship experiences in neuroepidemiology followed at the US National Institutes of Health, University of South Carolina, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Columbia University, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. He became a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1964 and received a PhD degree from the University of Minnesota in 1966.