Dr. Aaron C. Sollod, 99, longtime city physician


Dr. Aaron C. Sollod, a general practitioner who provided medical care in South Baltimore neighborhoods for more than 65 years and delivered more than 3,000 babies, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at his Pikesville home. He was 99.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Bond Street, he was a 1925 graduate of City College. He enrolled at the Johns Hopkins University but changed his studies and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Maryland.

Family members said that as a student, he discovered a passion for medicine while observing how doctors improved the lives of their patients. He subsequently entered the university's medical school and received his medical degree in 1932.

He completed his internship at South Baltimore General Hospital, then on Light Street, in 1934 and established a practice on Fort Avenue. He remained there until retiring in July 1990.

"During the course of his 60-year practice, Dr. Sollod delivered 3,000 babies, caring for three and four generations of Baltimore families. He is noted for making house calls until he retired, long after his colleagues stopped offering this personalized service," said Joseph M. Oddis, president of Harbor Hospital, formerly South Baltimore General.

While tending patients at South Baltimore General, Dr. Sollod met his future wife, Ethel Lett, then a nursing student. They married in 1942.

The family said that for the first three years of their marriage, they lived in the Fort Avenue rowhouse where Dr. Sollod practiced. Mrs. Sollod accompanied her husband to home deliveries until their first child was born in 1943.

"Everywhere I go, there is a person I was responsible for bringing into this neighborhood," Dr. Sollod told a Sun reporter in 1990. "Someone comes to me and says, `Don't you know me? You delivered me!' I can usually recognize most by voice and some of the names."

Former patients said they did not make appointments -- they went to his office and waited. They recalled he kept his records on 3-by-5-inch cards.

"But once he saw you, he made you feel like you were his only patient," said Marlene M. Ludwig, whose three daughters were delivered by Dr. Sollod. "I am sure there are other doctors who are as good, but he was the best."

Dr. Sollod's patients invited him to weddings, graduations and anniversaries. Each child he treated was rewarded with a balloon.

"Every patient is an experience. Each one is part of the family to me," Dr. Sollod said in the 1990 interview. "Everything is remarkable when you are delivering a child."

After his retirement, Dr. Sollod continued to visit Harbor Hospital. He made weekly rounds and provided consultations for its residents and physicians.

In honor of his achievements and dedication to the medical profession and the community, Harbor Hospital dedicated its LifeResource Center and Harbor Family Care in his honor on May 2, 1997.

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

In addition to wife, survivors include a son, Dr. H. Hershey Sollod of Denver; a daughter, Esther Layton of Pikesville; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.


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