In Memoriam: Bertram Yaffee 41C 43L

September 18, 2013

Bertram A. Yaffee 41C 43L, 93, passed away on Aug. 12, 2013, following a brief hospitalization. Yaffee’s career included distinguished military service and a remarkable career in the field of public health.

Yaffee was a Marine Corps major who earned the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars during 27 months of World War II combat in Guam and Iwo Jima. His memoir, Fragments of War: A Marine's Personal Journey, was published by the Naval Institute Press in 1999. In 1970, he ran as a progressive, anti-war candidate for Congress.

Yaffe was appointed to the Massachusetts Public Health Council in 1979 and served through five administrations, becoming the longest serving member in the Council's history. He was president of both the Massachusetts Public Health Association and the Massachusetts Health Council.

He founded and chaired the New England Coalition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, one of the first multistate efforts to coordinate regional health policy and programs. In 1988, the World Health Organization recognized the effort as a model of regional collaboration.

He was president of the Erna Yaffe Foundation, an organization he founded in honor of his first wife Erna to promote health efficacy.

Related links

Read the Boston Globe obituary

Read E.J. Dionne's tribute in the Washington Post


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