Walter Lear, MD, MPH, a long time gay rights, public health advocate, physician and health care activist passed away earlier today, Saturday, May 29th, 2010 at Keystone Hospice. Walter had been in ill health for more than a year. A Memorial service will be held at the Rare Book Collection on the 6th Floor of Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday June 19, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Over many years Walter built the US Health Left Archive which he had donated to the University of Pennsylvania in the past few years. He leaves his partner, James Payne and many, many friends.
Walter had collaborated with our online journal Social Medicine in the past several years. He wrote an editorial in 2007 entitled: US Health Professionals Oppose War. Last year we published an extensive interview with Walter about his life and his work. He had also loaned us materials from his collection some of which we have published in the journal.
In the words of his friend, Walter Tsou: “I will greatly miss his attack on corporations and those who put profits over patients. He was an ever vigilant defender of the poor, underserved and those who did not have a voice. And he was a vocal spokesperson for single payer, national health insurance.”
Walter, we will miss you.
Matt Anderson, MD