Lives in Brief

The Jewish Chronicle - - OBITUARIES -

Ge­neti­cist Pro­fes­sor Es­ther Leder­berg, who died in Stan­ford, Cal­i­for­nia, on Novem­ber 11, aged 83, made ma­jor virus dis­cov­er­ies. Born Es­ther Zim­mer in New York, she worked at Stan­ford Univer­sity med­i­cal school from 1959 un­til re­tir­ing in 1985, when she was made pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus. Her 1950 sem­i­nal dis­cov­ery of the “lambda phage”, when she no­ticed that her cul­ti­vated bac­te­ria were be­ing mys­te­ri­ously eaten up, was over­shad­owed by the No­bel prize awarded in 1958 to her first hus­band, Joshua Leder­berg, who dis­cov­ered how bac­te­ria repli­cate.

Classical pi­anist Leonid Ham­bro, who died in New York on Oc­to­ber 23, aged 86, ac­com­pa­nied co­me­dian Vic­tor Borge from 1961-71, feed­ing de­lib­er­ate mu­si­cal mis­takes for Borge’s gags. Chicago-born, the son of an im­mi­grant Rus­sian silent film pi­anist, Ham­bro stud­ied at New York’s Juil­liard School of Mu­sic. He gained fame in 1952 when he played Hin­demith’s com­plex mu­sic bril­liantly at 24 hours no­tice in front of the com­poser. He per­formed with vi­o­lin­ists Kreisler, Heifitz and Stern on both sides of the At­lantic. From 1970-87 he taught at the Cal­i­for­nia In­sti­tute of Arts.

Leg­endary bas­ket­ball coach Arnold “Red” Auer­bach, who died in Wash­ing­ton, DC, on Oc­to­ber 18, aged 89, led the Bos­ton Celtics to 16 cham­pi­onships as coach and gen­eral man­ager. Un­der him the team won 938 games be­tween 1950 and 1966. Brook­lyn-born Auer­bach was a medi­ocre player at school and univer­sity but a born coach. He was elected to the Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame in 1968.

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