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Dr Harvey Jay Sugerman

Aug 20, 2020

SUGERMAN, Dr. Harvey Jay, 82, of Sanibel, Florida, previously Richmond, Virginia, passed away peacefully at his home on August 9, 2020.

Born in Pittsburgh, Harvey was the David M. Hume professor of surgery at the VCU School of Medicine and chief of the Division of General/ Trauma Surgery from 1978 to 2003, during which time he operated on thousands of patients. Never one to sit still, following retirement, Harvey became Editor-in-Chief of Surgery of Obesity and Related Diseases (SOARD), while simultaneously pursuing the invention of an abdominal device to cure preeclampsia. He spent three years as a surgeon in the U.S. Army and served as president of the Western Trauma Association (WTA) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Harvey was a pioneer of gastric bypass surgery, providing evidence that it was the most effective option for weight loss and making it one of the most common operations performed by general surgeons today. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University and Master of Science and Medical Degrees from Jefferson Medical College, and he completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. Harvey loved skiing, traveling and photographing the world, 18-year old scotch, eating and drinking well, an occasional Baby Ruth candy bar and spending time with his wife, friends, four children and nine grandchildren. Harvey had a relentless drive in the pursuit of scientific truth and made a lasting impact by challenging prevailing dogma. He inspired countless students, fellow surgeons and his children and loved to share the stories he gathered throughout his long and remarkable life.

He is survived by his wife, Betsy; sister, Marilyn Latterman; and children, Kathryn, Andy, David and Elizabeth. Given the pandemic and social distancing, a private remembrance ceremony was held on Sunday, August 16.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI.org).  Tributes and photos can be posted at: