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Harry Warren Taber ’57

February 7, 2021, in Albany, New York, of complications due to Parkinson’s disease.

Harry was a scientist who directed the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Wadsworth Laboratories, New York State Department of Health. He was also a professor in the department of microbiology at Albany Medical College and chaired the biomedical sciences department at the School of Public Health, University of Albany.

Born in Longview, Washington, and raised in Oregon, he was a gentle intellectual with wide-ranging interests, from carpentry and gardening to music, and played the clarinet, block flute, and classical guitar.

Harry would long remember working on his thesis, “An Investigation of the Alleged Cyclobutane Derivative C₁₄H₁₀;” with Prof. John Hancock [chemistry 1955–89], the humanities program; Canyon and Campus Days; and the close friends he made at Reed.

“I view Reed as a touchstone,” he said. “It gave me the tools for self-education, and imbued me with a sense of intellectual and social responsibility that has never deserted me. Also, the interrelatedness of the scientific disciplines, as I experienced it at Reed, has influenced the way I think about my science.”

He went on to get a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of Rochester. Harry was an advocate for social justice and participated in civil rights protests beginning in the ’60s. He is survived by his wife, Jeroo Kotval; his daughter, Niloufer; his brother, Russell Taber Jr.; and his sister, Lina Hoffenbacker.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2021

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