In Memoriam

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Edwin Max Jacobs ’50

A picture of Edwin Jacobs

Edwin Max Jacobs ’50, October 17, 2009, at home in San Francisco, California. Edwin served in the U.S. Army in Europe and the Philippines before coming to Reed and earning a BA in biology, an experience he would later recall as “incomparable” and “one of the best” in his life. He earned an MD from Cornell University Medical School in 1954 and specialized in oncology at Bellevue Medical Hospital and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 1960, he became head of clinical cancer research at the UC San Francisco Cancer Research Institute. Later he became associate chief of the clinical investigation branch of the National Cancer Institute, clinical professor of medical oncology at UCSF, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. One of the nation's leading chemotherapists, he took an innovative approach to cancer therapy, utilizing a variety of drug programs and providing patients with hope. He recognized the prejudice and fear prevalent in cancer treatment at the time. “I felt an honest and open approach with patients, putting forth our best efforts, was justified.” In 1990, he married musician and singer Shari Levinger Jacobs. Together they attended opera, symphony, and ballet, collected historical recordings, and enjoyed time with grandchildren. Survivors include his wife, three stepsons, two grandchildren, and his brother. Edwin's mother, Flora Sommer Jacobs ’16, also graduated from Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2010

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