Bernard Lown, Inventive Heart Doctor and Antiwar Activist, Dies at 99

In a 2008 memoir, “Prescription for Survival: A Doctor’s Journey to and Nuclear Madness,” Dr. Lone narrates the story of his antinuclear group and notes that the end of the Cold War did not solve the threat of the apocalypse. “Eliminating the nuclear threat,” he wrote, “is a historical challenge that questions whether we humans have a future on Earth.”

Bernard Lone was born on June 7, 1921, in Nitten and Bella (Grossbird) Lown, in Uten, Lithuania. One of his grandfathers had been a rabbi in Lithuania.

The family moved to Maine in 1935, and his father ran a shoe factory in Pittsfield. Bernard graduated from Lewiston High School in 1938. He received a bachelor’s degree in Zoology at the University of Maine in 1942 and a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1945.

In 1946, he married Louise Lone, a cousin. He died in 2019. The pair previously lived in Newton, Mass. In addition to her granddaughter Ariel, she is survived by three children Anne, Fredrick and Naomi Lone. Four other grandchildren; And a great grandson

After an internship and residency in New York City, Drs. Lone settled in Boston in 1950 and spent the next decade conducting cardiac research at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

In 1952, he and Dr. Samuel A. Levin recommended The Journal of the American Medical Association The patient suffering from heart disease does not rest on a chair, as fluid pools in the chest cavity, making the heart hard. The advice is now widely accepted.

After listening to a lecture on medicine and nuclear war, Drs. Lone became the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility in 1961. In 1962, he studied the medical effects of an imaginary nuclear attack on Boston. His conclusion – that an attack on a city would end up treating all the nation’s medical resources for the victims of burns – was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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