Happy Father’s Day
June 18, 2017
It is ironic that the founding father of the American Academy of Dermatology, Howard Fox, was a bachelor with no children. He was undoubtedly influenced by his father, the beloved and internationally known dermatologist, George Henry Fox. We are their legacy, and on this Father’s Day, I would like to say thank you to the Doctors Fox.
I miss my father (Horace Horst Heymann, 1915-2008), who died of Alzheimer’s disease at age 93. He was both the son of a dermatologist (Dr. Georg Heymann, 1882-1946) the father of one (myself, 1955 to present), and my two brothers George (retired judge, 1949-present) and Andrew (accountant, 1951-1981).
When I think of the troubles I have faced, they are minuscule compared to what my late father dealt with — leaving Nazi Germany, moving briefly to Tel Aviv, then to the United States, without knowing a word of English. Serving his adopted country in the Navy as a “sea bee” in the Pacific theater in World War II, getting married, going to night school, raising a family, and caring for a son with profound illness, required extraordinary dedication to his country, family, and career as an industrial engineer. He did it all with a sense of decorum, decency, and gratefulness. He was the most tireless, honest person I have ever known. I miss him. Prior to his ravaging dementia, he was all that a son could wish for.
I hope that all of you spend this day with your fathers in person or in memory, and with your children, if you are so blessed.
Of all the good fortune I have had as a dermatologist, it pales in comparison to the gifts I have received from my father and from raising our beautiful daughters Andrea and Deborah into womanhood, with my wonderful wife Ronnie.
Happy Father’s Day!
1. Canizares O. Howard Fox: Founding father of the American Academy of Dermatology- A personal reminiscence. J Am Acad Dermatol 1988; 4: 793-6
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