In Memory of Leonard Fisher MD

May 22, 1929— September 19, 2011

Len Fisher was the son of highly committed social activists who devoted their lives to making the world a better place for all people. The lessons he learned at the dining room table and through watching his parents work for social justice led him to pursue a career in medicine and to carry on as an activist for a better, safer, more humane world.

An exceptionally bright student, Len was accepted into Princeton at the age of 16, but due to financial considerations he attended Rutgers University. After completing a masters degree in physiology at Yale, Len attended and graduated from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

His initial training was as an endocrinologist, but he went on to develop expertise and board certifications in Nuclear Medicine, Diabetes, and Geriatrics. Len spent most of his career in New York City where he lived with his wife, Mimi and children Nadine and Daniel. For many years, Len served as the Associate Medical Director at Coler Memorial Hospital and Clinical Professor at New York Medical College. He had the honor of returning to the University of Chicago Medical School as a Clinical Professor, chairing the Geriatrics program at Oak Forest Memorial Hospital.

Len and Mimi continued their westward journey out to Los Angeles, where he spent the latter part of his career as a Clinical Professor at UCLA Medical School and the Medical Director of the then UCLA Sylvia Olshan Clinic. After retiring from his position at UCLA, Len continued to volunteer as a physician at the Saban Free Clinic and as a board member for Sunset Hall.

Throughout his life, Len was involved in important social causes. In the 50s and 60s Len was intensely involved in the Civil Rights struggle and worked with other medical professionals in the South to improve health care for African-Americans, as well as to provide acute care to Civil Rights workers. In the 70s he worked closely with The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy and Physicians for Social Responsibility. Len continued to support these and other important social causes in his later years and never gave up the struggle to leave the world a better place than he found it.

An avid gardener, Len embodied Thoureau’s observation that a gardener is someone with humility, who sees that these trees will eventually outlive him; the gardener is generous, optimistic, nurturing, taking pleasure in the planting but also in making something beautiful for others. That was Lenny.

-by Daniel Fisher

Dr. Fisher is survived by his wife Mimi, their daughter Nadine and son Dan, daughter-in-law Rachel and son-in-law Aurelio, his sister June, and grandsons Michael, Noah, Nate and Adam.

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