Deceased September 28, 2018
Dr. Leslie T. “Les” Webster Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Cleveland on Sept. 28. He was 92.
Les grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y. He was an avid golf and tennis player and spent summers in the Adirondacks. He attended Amherst during World War II and was only able to spend three semesters there. He loved his professors, Glee Club, squash and late-night “bull” sessions with his fellow students. During his time there, his own father, Dr. Leslie T. Webster ’15, died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage. Les was then entered into the V-12 program and “fast-tracked” into Harvard Medical School due to the war. After medical school, he began a career in academic medicine and basic science research.
Les became a world expert on drug treatments for parasitic disease. He published numerous scientific articles, and he was a long-time contributor to the pharmacology textbook used in medical schools nationwide. He worked with the World Health Organization, the NIH and the Rockefeller Foundation. He also directed site visits to review and credential other basic science departments. He served as chair of pharmacology at both Northwestern University in Chicago and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He also served as director of the M.D.-Ph.D. program at Case for many years. He took two sabbaticals at Oxford University and one in Nairobi, Kenya.
Les was grateful to receive an honorary degree from Amherst in 1982. His father had also received an honorary degree, and the Webster biology building was named in his father’s honor. Les loved Amherst and was a generous lifelong supporter of the College. He is survived by his wife, Alice, and four children, including Leslie T. Webster III ’89.
Les Webster ’89