Jeffrey Arnold Gottlieb '62

Submitted by Craig H. Morgan

From The Olio

22 Euclid Ave., Mt Vernon, New York,
Prepared at A.B. Davis High School
Alpha Theta Xi, Vice President
Football "1962", 2, Lacrosse "1962",
Blood Drive, Chest Drive,
Chapel Choir, Manager. Glee Club, Manager. Masquers,
Student Committee to the Faculty, SCARAB,
Smith-Amherst Chamber Singers. Hillel,
Kellogg Speaking Prize, Gilbert Speaking Prize

Jeffrey Arnold (Jeff) Gottlieb'62 died July 1, 1975.
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From The Reunion Book

More than anything else, it is The Voice that I remember. And what a voice it was: deep, resonant, commanding. I sang with Jeff through 4 years of Amherst College and into our second year at Harvard Medical School. We were in the Chapel Choir together; we were in the Amherst Glee Club together, and we toured Europe in the summer of 1961 with the Smith-Amherst Chamber Singers, under the direction of Iva Dee Hiatt and Woody Alexander. Oh, how I envied the timbre of that wonderful voice that emanated from deep in his chest. I know little about public speaking, but I suspect that The Voice was a major consideration in Jeff’s winning of the Kellogg Speaking Prize and the Gilbert Speaking Prize..

Medical school is serious business, and that is where Jeff continued to excel and began preparation for what would become an internationally recognized career in medical cancer research. Ironically, it was the very disease in which he made his most important contributions that ultimately claimed him..

But Medical school is also fun, and one of the most enjoyable aspects is the traditional second year musical spoof, which we wrote and performed in the winter of 1963, entitled Falice in Wonderland. I wrote a lot of the music, the bawdy libretto was written by a classmate (Ned Cassem, an ordained Jesuit)) and Jeff played the part of the hapless student health service psychiatrist Dr. Bleaugh Shamjob. Jeff’s rich tones resonated through the Vanderbilt Hall gymnasium..

Jeff went on to a distinguished career in clinical care, teaching, and research. He had 92 publications, 89 of which were published after discovery of his primary malignancy. He pioneered new effective approaches, using combination chemotherapy, in the management of malignancies that had previously been virtually untreatable. He was considered by many to be the leading figure in the field of solid tumor therapy in the United States..

The MD Anderson Center at the University of Texas recognized Jeff’s contributions by establishing in 1975 an annual award in his memory. The recipients read like a Who’s Who in cancer research. The basis for the award is described in the MD Anderson Web site:

"The award was created to perpetuate the memory of Dr. Jeffrey A. Gottlieb, who himself made outstanding advances in the field of chemotherapy before losing a personal battle to cancer in 1975. MD Anderson Cancer Center was fortunate to have been able to claim this outstanding clinician as one of its own for 5 years. Joining the MD Anderson staff in 1970, Dr. Gottlieb brought with him the dedication that quickly established his impeccable scientific reputation and earned him the title of administrative chief of the Chemotherapy Service in the Department of Developmental Therapeutics. In this capacity, Dr. Gottlieb devoted his efforts to seeking new insight into the use of chemotherapeutic agents administered to provide maximum benefits for cancer patients. His devotion to research was tempered by his compassionate devotion to his patients, who confidently placed their trust in him, and to his colleagues and students, who eagerly sought his advice and counsel."

Jeff was the initial recipient of the award, presented after his death. Emil J Freireich, MD, one of the prominent leaders at M D Anderson, made the following comments: "only rarely does an individual have such a profound affect on his colleagues that he is immediately recognized as outstanding…Dr Gottlieb always surfaced as a leader, an intellectual giant and a person of great character…Dr. Gottlieb stretched the horizons of knowledge about cancer therapy. These scientific achievements, however, took second place to Jeff’s strong commitment to his work and to the people that he had contact with each day He was a man of great dignity, enormous pride and, yet, great personal warmth. He was an individual everyone was enriched by knowing.".

In a memorial tribute written for Harvard Medical School by Jeff’s classmate, Dr. Ned Cassem wrote: "We knew him to be a good actor, but never dreamed how good he had to be. For by 1968 he already had cancer. It was the year Elizabeth was born." [Jeff and his beloved wife Margery {Midge} also had a son, Keith] The next seven years were the miracle of a man who knew how to get the most out of life. He continued to sing—with the Chorales of the Baltimore and Houston Symphonies, and to act—lead roles in O’Neil’s Mourning Becomes Electra and Chekhov’s The Three Sisters.".

His classmates, colleagues, and friends miss Jeff Gottlieb, and the world misses the further contributions he might have made. Personally, I miss The Voice..

---Laurence H. Beck, MD.

We contacted Jeff's children Keith and Elizabeth, and they each contributed some thoughts as well as the included photographs:.

From Keith: :

You might also like to know that my sister, Elizabeth, also attended Amherst College. I ended up going to Johns Hopkins instead. Both my sister and I are scientists, although neither of us pursued medicine. My sister works in the semi-conductor industry and has a Ph.D. from Stanford in bio-inorganic chemistry. I have Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine and now oversee R&D in the area of clinical trials for new vaccines. The amazing part of our lives is that, while the 'nurture' part was not direct, since I was only 4 when my father passed away, but the 'nature' part is remarkable. My sister and I both love music and each has played multiple instruments. We both pursued science in school and as a career. I even majored and have worked in biology throughout my career. And, of course, I look very much like my father. I still cannot believe I am 5 years older now than when he passed away. He cast a very big shadow and it something I think about very often. My father would be happy to know that he now has a granddaughter as well. My wife and I have a 3 year old girl. She also very much has the Gottlieb look and, more importantly, has already said she wants to be a doctor (MD) when she grows up. Thanks for the great tribute. I have often wanted to write a book on my father's life...every time I read a tribute about him...there is more I learn. Sadly, I do not remember his voice and have never heard it, even on tape.

Elizabeth added the following:

I too went to Amherst (Class of 1990), but you may not know that I was also a singer, a talent that I'm sure came from my father. I sang first soprano with the Women's Chorus for four years and with the co-ed a cappella group The Madrigals for two. Being a part of the Singing College was yet one more experience that made me feel closer to my father during my days at Amherst. I am happy to know that he will be remembered in your class's 50th Reunion book.
Jeff and Midge Gottlieb
Jeff and Midge

Jeff, Elizabeth, Keith
Jeff, Keith, Elizabeth

Jeff, Elizabeth, Keith
And when younger

And here is a link to a memorial website that Jeff's son Keith has established----