Dr. Albert Shapiro, Baltimore dermatologist, dies at 96

March 22, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Dr. Albert Shapiro, a retired Baltimore dermatologist and a former longtime Pikesville resident, died March 12 in his sleep at the Noreen McKeen Residences in West Palm Beach, Fla.

He was 96.

Dr. Shapiro, the son of a businessman and a homemaker, was born in Somerville, Mass., and spent his early years in nearby Chelsea.

In 1921 he moved with his family to Baltimore, where he graduated from City College in 1931.

He graduated from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1937 and completed postgraduate training in dermatology at New York University's Skin and Cancer College.

Dr. Shapiro joined the Army in 1941, and was sent to Oahu, Hawaii, in early 1942. Noticing that there was a population of lepers who were receiving inadequate medical care, Dr. Shapiro asked to be transferred to the 148th Field Hospital, where he became chief of dermatology and was able to provide better care for those with leprosy and other dermatological diseases.

The 148th Field Hospital was later transferred to Saipan, an active war zone, where Dr. Shapiro remained until the end of the war, when he was discharged with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

On returning to Baltimore, he went into private practice in Pikesville, and also was a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Maryland Medical School.

He retired from practice in the early 1990s and moved to Palm Beach, Fla.

Although retired, Dr. Shapiro continued to pursue medical studies in dermatology, and, when he returned to Baltimore during the summer months, participated in a Tuesday program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine that was held for dermatology residents.

"That's the great thing about a medical career," he wrote recently in an obituary he prepared for his family. "As long as you have all your marbles, you can continue to be involved so you never totally retire."

A daughter, Eileen Shapiro Eaves of Cambridge, Mass., said that as recently as last month her father was on the phone with a dermatologist in practice in Palm Beach who he had trained in Baltimore, offering advice on a skin cancer patient.

Dr. Shapiro also endowed a professorship in immunodermatology at Maryland, as well as a research grant at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for the treatment of mental illness.

He was president of the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore and the Baltimore Friends of Hebrew University, and served on the boards of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and the Park School. He was also a member of Woodholme Country Club and the Suburban Club.

In Florida, he served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County and the Joseph L. Morse Geriatric Center of West Palm Beach.

Services are private.

In addition to his daughter, he leaves his wife of 30 years, the former Diane Green; another daughter, Jane Shapiro of Beverly, Mass.; two stepdaughters, Isabel Long of Tequesta, Fla., and Sharon Cartwright of Palm Beach; and a step-granddaughter. An earlier marriage to Sylvia Seldman ended in divorce.

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