Walter Robert Keller, 1953-2014
In late 2011, I saw a story in the New York Times. A clinical trial of a new kind of cancer therapy at the University of Pennsylvania had jolted two elderly leukemia patients into apparent remission. The therapy had never been tried before in humans, only in mice. Developed over 25 years by a team of Penn doctors, it used genetic techniques to give new powers to a patient’s own cells, transforming them into “serial killers” able to attack and eliminate tumor.
It seemed to be one of those rare moments in cancer science when an experimental treatment actually worked. I wanted to know more, so I asked Penn if they’d connect me with a patient. They pointed me to Walter Keller, a cabinet refinisher in Southern California, the seventh adult to ever receive the therapy.
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Nearly 20 years after Harry Jay Katz found a woman dead in his East Falls hot tub, playwright David Bar Katz, his son, found Philip Seymour Hoffman dead in New York City. Read more »
The Wall Street Journal has the first word:
Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday afternoon in his New York City apartment, a law-enforcement official said.
The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine exact cause of death. The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46 years old, was found dead at his apartment at 35 Bethune St. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
The New York Post reports that the cause of death was an apparent drug overdose. Hoffman opened up about his substance addiction when he checked himself into rehab last year.
In one of his most recent films, God’s Pocket, which played at this year’s Sundance, Hoffman plays a father from South Philadelphia who searches for answers following the death of his son.
UPDATE: The man who found Hoffman dead was David Bar Katz, son of notorious Philadelphian Harry Jay Katz.
Lou Reed, an icon of edgy, boundary-pushing, experimental and avant garde rock—both with the seminal, proto-alt band The Velvet Underground in the 1960s and early ’70s, and as a solo artist—passed away on Sunday at the age of 71, reports Rolling Stone.
While a cause of death has yet to be released, Andrew Wylie, Reed’s literary agent, tells The New York Times that he believes a liver transplant the singer underwent in May—a procedure Billboard called “life-saving” at the time—was a factor.
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, sits up in his hotel room bed in Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1968 while being examined by Dr. Walter Lomax, a Philadelphia physician. (AP Photo)
On this past Thursday at 8:30 a.m., 81-year-old Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr. passed away. “So what?” you ask. “What’s the big deal?” you ask. “Don’t old men die every day?” you ask.
The big deal, I answer, is that he wasn’t just an old man. The big deal is that he was and is a great man.
Dr. Lomax was a prominent physician, prosperous entrepreneur, and selfless philanthropist. The youngest of four children and a graduate of La Salle University and Hahnemann University Hospital, he opened his first medical office in a row house near his South Philly family home in 1958.
That small-scale clinic expanded over the years to six top-notch medical centers with 22 physicians who provided quality care regardless of income.
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