Retired U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) Rear Admiral Jerrold M. Michael, who rose from the lowest rank in the U.S. Navy in World War II to become the youngest USPHS Assistant Surgeon General in history and later served as the Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Hawaii for 20 years, died July 25. He was 90.
Jerrold Mark Michael was born August 3, 1927 in Kingston, NY, the youngest of 5 children of Joseph and Esther Michael. He moved to Kingston, NY at age 1 and then Washington, D.C. at age 11. A graduate of Anacostia High School in 1945, RADM Michael joined the Navy at age 17 where he was trained as a Corpsman to support the Marines in the planned invasion of Japan, which was cancelled with the Japanese surrender. After serving in Florida for two years, RADM Michael used the G.I. Bill to train as a civil engineer at George Washington University. He met his future wife, Lynn Simon, in 1948 and married on March 17, 1951 after having earned his Masters of Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University and becoming an Ensign in the USPHS.
RADM Michael was assigned to his first USPHS post in Phoenix, Arizona and then Atlanta, Georgia at the Centers for Disease Control before moving back to Washington, D.C. in 1959 where he worked in the Indian Health Service, the Environmental Protection Service (later to become the EPA), and the Bureau of Medical Services. He became a Rear Admiral in 1964 at age 37, the youngest Flag Officer in USPHS history.
Retiring from the USPHS in 1971, RADM Michael, his wife and now two sons moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where he became a Professor of Public Health at the University of Hawaii and the longest serving Dean of a School of Public Health for 20 years developing a new network of public health schools in the Pacific Rim, earned two honorary doctorate degrees, had an endowed chair created in his name at the University of Jerusalem, and was a rare foreigner decorated by the King of Thailand with the Order of the Elephant. RADM Michael trained a generation of public health professionals.
Retiring a second time, RADM Michael returned to the DC area in November 1995 to serve as Professor of Global Health at his alma mater where he assisted in the development of a new School of Public Health and became increasingly active in USPHS organizations such as the Commissioned Officers Association and co-founded the Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health. He trained doctoral students well into his 80s. RADM Michael was committed to service of country, global health, and education.
RADM Michael is survived by is wife of 67 years, Lynn Y. Michael, sons Scott (Mary) and Nelson (Madeline) Michael, grandchildren Joseph (Stacey), Karen (Ian), Joshua and Claire Michael, and great-grandchildren Dale Michael and Sophia Stanaway.
Services will be held Sunday, July 29 at B'nai Shalom of Olney at 11 o'clock in the morning with internment thereafter at nearby Judean Gardens.
Donations can be made to the RADM Jerrold Michael Global Health Fellowship Program of the Koop Living Legacy Fund at www.phscof.org/koop-living-legacy-fund.html.
JUL 29. 11:00 AM
B'nai Shalom of Olney
18401 Burtfield Dr
Olney, MD, 20832
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jerrold Michael, please visit our floral store.