Charles R. Kleeman, MD
August 15, 2021
Loving husband, father and grandfather, and prominent physician and scientist, Dr. Charles R. Kleeman died peacefully on Sunday, August 15 at his home in Santa Monica. He was 97.
Charles (Chuck) was born in Los Angeles on August 19, 1923. He attended Los Angeles High School, then UCLA for his undergraduate education, and received his M.D. degree from UC San Francisco. In 1945, he married Annette Wollman Kleeman.
A medical student during WWII, Chuck served in the military during the Korean War. In 1953, he became assistant professor of medicine at Yale University Medical School and, in 1956, was recruited to UCLA to become Chief of Metabolic Diseases (now the fields of nephrology and endocrinology) at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center. From 1961-1972, he served as Chief of Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he developed its flourishing research and teaching programs.
While on a sabbatical in England in 1960-61, he was invited to lecture in Israel, and fell in love with the country. In 1972, he moved with his wife and youngest daughter, Maura, to Jerusalem, where he began a three-year stay as a Professor of Medicine at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center. Among his many important contributions to medicine in Israel, he established the Department of Internal Medicine for the new Hadassah hospital on Mt. Scopus. He was made an honorary fellow of the Hebrew University, its highest honor.
After returning to Los Angeles, he founded the Mark Taper Center for Health Enhancement, Education and Research at UCLA, the first university-based center for health promotion and disease prevention. He also held the distinguished post of Factor Family Foundation Professor of Medicine and Nephrology. An early advocate for exercise and a healthy diet, he was an avid cyclist over many years, cycling to work on LA city streets – and on the streets of Jerusalem – long before this was a common sight.
Over the course of his professional career, he was an influential and inspirational teacher of the art of medicine, internal medicine and nephrology to generations of medical students, residents and practicing physicians in this country and abroad. He authored or co-authored hundreds of academic and scientific articles, numerous book chapters, and one of the most successful textbooks in nephrology, Clinical Disorders of Fluid & Electrolyte Metabolism, with five editions. Among his many awards and honors, he was a Master of the American College of Physicians and a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Chuck was devoted to his patients, his students and, above all, to his wife and family. He cared deeply about Israel and Judaism, and he and Annette supported numerous liberal causes. He was a true ""mensch"" – a kind, generous soul who always saw the best in others and lived a life of integrity and purpose.
He is survived by his wife of 76 years, Annette; daughters Dr. Karen Kleeman, Dena Kleeman and Maura Kleeman Resnick; and six grandchildren – Samuel Levine, Annie Levine, Dr. Miriam Goldblum, Daniel Goldblum, Ethan Resnick and Aaron Resnick.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Charles R. Kleeman Visiting Professorship, UCLA Department of Nephrology (contact Heidi Saravia, UCLA Health Sciences Development, at (310) 206-4565, fund #90488E); or Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center funds ""International Bridges to Peace"" or ""Medical Research"" (http://hadassahinternational.org/how-you-can-help/support-our-projects)
Condolences to the family may be sent to 756 Kingman Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90402 or email@example.com
Published by Los Angeles Times from Aug. 18 to Aug. 22, 2021.
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