Dr. J. Jay Platt, 75, cared for patients for 50 years

March 31, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. J. Jay Platt, a physician who practiced in East Baltimore for 50 years and once delivered a baby in a cab, died Thursday of a heart attack at Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia. He was 75 and lived in Mount Washington.

Establishing his practice in Essex in the early 1950s, he moved it to Canton's Boston Street about 10 years ago. He continued to see 25 to 30 patients a day, five days a week. On Saturdays, he worked a half-day. And to the end of his life, Dr. Platt made house calls at the homes of his elderly patients.

"He was a witty and charming man, an excellent doctor," said former Gov. Marvin Mandel, a friend. "He dedicated his life to taking care of people - and he enjoyed good associations with all our best physician-scientists, too. Doc Platt's patients were well served."

FOR THE RECORD - The obituary of Dr. J. Jay Platt that was published in yesterday's editions of The Sun should have identified survivor Dale Platt as the doctor's son.
The Sun regrets the error.

"He didn't like to slow down and relax," said Craig Fader, his medical assistant, who lives in Dundalk. "His medicine always came first. He was an excellent diagnostician who liked treating generations of family members."

As a young doctor, he drove a cab to help pay for his medical education. He once delivered a fare's baby on the way to the hospital.

He was remembered as a physician whose calm manner put his patients at ease. Instead of wearing a doctor's white coat, he often examined patients while wearing a nylon windbreaker.

Speaking at his funeral yesterday, Rabbi Eric B. Stark of Temple Oheb Shalom said: "Jay would arrive early and stay as long as there were people to see. As he liked to say, `People don't get sick by appointment.'"

Born in Baltimore and raised in West Baltimore, he was the son of Russian immigrant parents. He graduated from City College at the age of 15 and was awarded a scholarship to Loyola College. He completed his undergraduate education in three years and went on to graduate from the University of Maryland School of Medicine at age 21. At the time, he was the school's youngest graduate. He served in the U.S. Public Health Service and was stationed at a Marine hospital in Galveston, Texas.

Dr. Platt, a sports enthusiast who held season tickets to Orioles and Ravens games, often reached in his desk drawer and handed his patients his sports tickets. He also followed thoroughbred racing - he once owned several horses - and liked brief trips to Atlantic City's gaming tables.

The Essex-Middle River Community Association awarded him a community service award in 1979.

In 1946, he married the former Alice Louise Brady, a teacher who worked alongside her husband in his office. She survives him.

Funeral services were held yesterday at Sol Levinson & Brothers.

He also is survived by a son, Mason Platt of Baltimore; two daughters, Barbara Frank of Pikesville and Dale Platt of Timonium; and three grandchildren.

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