Dr. Bernard Becker dies at 93

September 1, 2013

Bernard Becker, MD, chairman of the ophthalmology department at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for 35 years, has died.

 

St. Louis-Bernard Becker, MD, chairman of the ophthalmology department at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for 35 years, has died.

Dr. Becker, 93, died Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at his home in St. Louis after a battle with lung cancer.

Dr. Becker was known for discovering one of the first treatments for glaucoma-a drug called acetazolamide used to decrease pressure in the brain. He determined the drug could also be used to decrease pressure in the eyes.

From 1953 to 1988, Dr. Becker helped Washington University build its Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Arts. He was also one of the founders of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and helped establish the National Eye Institute.

In 1995, Washington University renamed its medical library in his honor.

Dr. Becker grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. He was also an army psychiatrist during WWII.

Following the war, Dr. Becker trained in ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Becker has received many awards, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s highest honor. He has also co-written the first two editions of “Diagnosis and Therapy of the Glaucomas.”

Washington University is planning a memorial service for Dr. Becker, who donated his body to the university’s school of medicine.

 

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