Couple’s Bequest to Fund Scholarship in Memory of Dr. Herbert S. Salomon
Dr. Herbert S. Salomon’s career as a physician was cut short after losing a ten-year battle with cancer in 1971, just four years after graduating from UT Southwestern Medical School. But according to his brother, Stephen, Dr. Salomon’s story should not focus on the tragedy of his death, but rather on his incredible perseverance to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor.
Honoring his brother’s legacy compelled Stephen Salomon and his wife, Eleanor, to make bequests in their wills to Southwestern Medical Foundation to support the Herbert S. Salomon, M.D., Class of 1967, Scholarship Fund. The fund provides financial assistance to fourth-year medical students ranked in the top 20 percent of their class. Mr. and Mrs. Salomon have made contributions to the scholarship fund every year and want to be certain that it is perpetuated for generations to come.
Because of their generous bequest, the Salomons recently became members of the Foundation’s Heritage Society, which honors those who have remembered UT Southwestern in their estate plans.
“My wife and I are strong believers in UT Southwestern’s mission and want it to be sustained for the future,” said Mr. Salomon. “To make this bequest to an institution whose purpose is to advance medical science and save lives is very gratifying to us.”
The bequest also helps Mr. Salomon ensure that his brother’s story continues to inspire others. “My brother’s legacy is his inexorable will to persevere through adversity.”
Herbert (Herb) Salomon grew up in Dallas and graduated in 1958 from Highland Park High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society. He received his bachelor’s of science degree from Washington and Lee University in 1962, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
“Herb was an exemplary human being, who led by setting the highest academic and moral standards for himself,” said Mr. Salomon.
While at Washington and Lee, Herb developed a close friendship with his roommate and fraternity brother, Joseph L. Goldstein. Now Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics at UT Southwestern, Dr. Goldstein won the 1985 Nobel Prize together with Dr. Michael Brown for their discovery of the underlying mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism. “My brother would have been very proud to see the life-changing impact of Dr. Goldstein’s research and witness the rippling effect it had in helping make UT Southwestern one of the most highly respected medical centers in the world,” said Mr. Salomon. “Little did my brother know that by a twist of fate that crossed the paths of their lives, an enduring friendship was formed that would play a role in Dr. Goldstein enrolling in UT Southwestern Medical School.”
Dr. Goldstein credits his friendship with Herb for sparking his interest in UT Southwestern when he was considering various options for medical school. “As a Dallas native, Herb was so proud of UT Southwestern and was a great spokesperson for the institution,” said Dr. Goldstein. “After learning more about the exceptional quality of its training programs and outstanding faculty, I began to understand UT Southwestern’s potential to become a medical center of international prominence. I wanted to be part of it.”
Herb chose UT Southwestern, as well, and began excitedly planning for medical school. But prior to beginning his senior year at Washington and Lee, his life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a malignant cylindroma, a very rare form of cancer. Radical surgery was performed to remove the tumor, followed by radiation treatments and a series of plastic surgeries.
“Many of us would have decided at that moment that life as we had known it, filled with dreams and aspirations, was over,” said Mr. Salomon. But Herb returned to Washington and Lee to complete his senior year and graduate with his class in 1962.
He entered UT Southwestern Medical School that fall, and after taking a year off to undergo more surgery, received his medical degree in 1967. Dr. Salomon went on to complete an internship at Parkland Hospital and a partial residency in cardiology.
But after being informed that his tumor had metastasized and was inoperable, Dr. Salomon chose to leave his residency and instead fulfill his dream of practicing medicine by joining an established practice in Richardson, Texas. Dr. Salomon saw his last patient on February 13, 1971, and died the next morning at the age of 30.
“Despite the turbulent years of living in constant fear of his cancer recurring, radiation treatments, and numerous surgeries, Herb became a medical doctor, got married, and had two children,” said Mr. Salomon. “Herb’s courageous determination to live, his devotion to his family, his dedication to medicine, and his compassion for others represent his true memorial.”
Dr. Kern Wildenthal, whose affiliation with UT Southwestern has spanned 50 years—first as a medical student and later as the medical center’s president—now serves as President of Southwestern Medical Foundation. The Salomons’ generous gift to the Foundation has a personal meaning to Dr. Wildenthal, as well.
“I was a junior when Herb Salomon came to UT Southwestern,” said Dr. Wildenthal. “Both academically and in his kindness to his fellow students, Herb was awe-inspiring. The medical school has never had a more admired student, and Herb’s premature death was a grievous loss to medicine, as well as to his family and friends.”
According to Stephen, it is only fitting that he and his wife honor his brother’s memory by making bequests to the very institution that enabled Dr. Salomon to accomplish his dreams. “UT Southwestern defined who Herb was professionally, and we hope that those who read this story will consider similar gifts to enable future generations of medical students to fulfill their dreams.”
For more information on planned giving opportunities, please contact Randal Daugherty at Randal.Daugherty@utsouthwestern.edu or (214) 648-3069.