In Memory of Shelly
Tributes to Sheldon J. Segal
I first met Shelly through mutual friends and colleagues and admired greatly his pioneering work in contraceptive development. Together with my husband Irwin we had the good fortune to also know his lovely and talented wife Harriet. When I joined the Council in 2005, Shelly welcomed me with great warmth and encouragement, With his kind and thoughtful counsel, he guided me through the many challenges associated with completion of the Phase 3 study for an innovative contraceptive vaginal ring that Shelly helped to drive from the laboratory into clinical trials. Now we await the approval and availability to women worldwide of this new method as another tribute to Shelly's remarkable achievements. Like so many others, I will miss Shelly very much. We have lost an exceptionally talented and committed scientist and an extraordinary person. I am humbled to have known him.
Posted by: Ruth Merkatz
Director, Clinical Development, Reproductive Health, Population Council
Posted on 12/7/2009 1:48:13 PM
Shelly Segal was an unforgetable friend and mentor to generations of scientists and defenders of reproductive rights around the world. All our lives have been enormously affected by his vision, his compassion and ethics, and his use of science to benefit human welfare. We wish his family and friends the strength to persevere in the global mission of service to humanity that he so loved.
Posted by: John W Townsend
Posted on 11/22/2009 6:25:50 PM
Professors Linzhi Zhuang, Cheng Zhu, Enkui Duan, former directors of the State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and I are sad to get this bad news. Prof. Segal contributed a lot to the development of our lab and reproductive biology research in China. We send our deepest condolence to you and your family. We will always remember him for his great contribution to our lab.
Posted by: Qing-Yuan Sun
Director, State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology,
Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Posted on 11/16/2009 1:43:50 PM
Shelly Segal was a master of bringing people together to improve family planning. The International Committee for Contraception Research was a group of scientists from industrial and nonindustrial counties working together on this topic. He then initiated South to South, a group of about a dozen world-class scientists from a dozen different nonindustrialized countries working together to improve family planning practices in their countries. Shelly set up this group of scientists and arranged for them to get resources from the Rockefeller Foundation to follow their own leads and ideas to improve family planning in their countries. He wanted them to have the opportunity to develop their ideas and to initiate and manage collaborative multicenter studies among themselves. Shelly's intimate knowledge of reproductive health combined with his respect and admiration for these super scientists enabled this group to develop to where the leadership of this group moved from Shelly to its members. Shelly was a close personal friend, and I shall miss him. But the world has lost a visionary leader, a teacher of scientists, and an organizer of groups of scientists whom he taught how to develop and manage their programs to become independent of a need for Shelly. This is the highest praise I can give a great teacher.
Posted by: Marcus M Reidenberg
Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College
Posted on 11/10/2009 10:49:08 AM
Shelly Segal was a giant in the field of reproductive biology, and it was my privilege and good fortune to have worked closely with him for more than 45 years. The world will miss this great scientist, and I shall miss a close friend who was an accomplished mentor and helpful collaborator. Shelly’s remarkable vision about the worldwide need for new innovative methods of contraception led to his establishment of the International Committee for Contraception Research in 1970. I am forever grateful that Shelly selected me to be one of the initial members of this remarkable organization that under Shelly’s leadership developed the contraceptive implant and the copper-bearing and levonorgestrel-releasing IUDs. Shelly’s accomplishments are vast, his friendship widespread and genuine, and his leadership skills outstanding. I shall miss him greatly.
Posted by: Daniel R Mishell Jr.
The Lyle G. McNeile Professor, University of Southern California
Posted on 11/10/2009 10:44:09 AM
Shelly, I first met you in 1977 as a postdoctoral fellow at CBR. You gave me a chance to work at MBL for 3 summers; Amy helped me as an assistant. It was very fortunate that 3 generations of the Segal family, you, Amy, and Peter, came to Kyoto in April 2007 when I organized the annual congress of JSOG. You came to congratulate me for being JSOG Congress President and to deliver an outstanding lecture. It was also a great pleasure for me, with your request, to organize the reunion of the Japanese fellows of the Population Council attended by 28 people. In the summer of 2007 you kindly invited me and Keiko to return to Woods Hole after 28 years. It was a very nostalgic visit, and we enjoyed seeing you and all of your family. I am glad that I could send an email message to Harriet from Cape Town, South Africa, on October 10, 2009, to inform you that I was elected Vice President of FIGO. I have learned from the way you worked how important it is to work closely with such an organization as FIGO for the betterment of women’s health. You were not only a person of great insights and a devoted worker but also a loving and caring person. You welcomed everyone from any part of the world with your warm, big smile and captured the heart of everyone. I owe you what I am today. I am so proud of myself for having worked under you and also being a member of ICCR, which you founded. It was my honor and pleasure to be around such a great mind and compassionate person as you.
Posted by: Takeshi Maruo
Director, Kobe Children's Hospital and Feto-Maternal Medical Center
Posted on 11/10/2009 10:39:01 AM
Shelly became a very close friend and mentor almost immediately after my arrival in N.Y. from India as a Population Council fellow. This was way back in 1960. I carried out research in reproductive endocrinology and trained as a clinical endocrinologist at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He was a very knowledgeable person and he was also very charming. He was most helpful to me throughout my stay of nearly 2 years in N.Y. I owe a deep debt of gratitude for all that he did. When I returned to Bombay after completion of my fellowship, he helped me get a sizable grant from Ford Foundation for development of a department of endocrinology at T.N. Medical College and Nair Hospital. In due course this department grew and got recognized at the university level as a full-fledged super-specialty. We here in Bombay and many others in India will always remember his immense contribution to the progress in this field. During 1961, I also came into intimate contact with Harriet. My husband was also in the U.S. at the same time and a deep bond of friendship developed between the Segals and us. We feel very privileged that our friendship with this wonderful couple and their family members has lasted for almost 5 decades. We will miss him dearly.
Posted by: Dr. Shanti Shahani
Consulting Endocrinologist, Bombay Hospital
Posted on 11/6/2009 2:22:46 PM
I met Shelly at a meeting of the South-to-South Collaboration in Reproductive Health in Bahia, Brazil. He had conceived the idea of bringing together world-class scientists from the developing countries of the southern hemisphere to share their experience and research findings to advance the technology of family planning. They were an extraordinarily thoughtful and dedicated group of scientists. Shelly placed the content of the science in the context of the culture of each host country, and each member hosted a meeting in his or her home country so that we could see firsthand what the local problems and context were. Shelly taught us to learn from one another and share our thoughts and ideas with candor and respect. His gift for bringing together people of diverse backgrounds to develop common ground was the instrument for his enormous contributions to science and humanity. Today we see his strong ethical principles in action on the Population Council Institutional Review Board, which he chaired so ably. I was honored when he invited me to serve and awed by his wisdom and compassion.
Posted by: June Reidenberg
Member, Population Council Institutional Review Board
Posted on 11/6/2009 11:59:07 AM
Although I did not know Shelly well, his work was inspirational. I consider it a great honor to have met him on several occasions at ICCR meetings. My wish is that we can all collectively honor Shelly's life by increasing our efforts to improve family planning services through research and clinical care.
Posted by: Jeff Jensen
Professor, Oregon Health and Science University
Posted on 11/6/2009 1:57:46 AM
I knew Dr. Shelly Segal for many years through his work and his commitment to contraceptive development and population affairs. However, when I met Dr. Segal for the first time at the ICCR I understand better his vision about reproductive health. I value his openness and respect to all people and the permanent smile when they met with some of us. Indeed, many people around the world will miss him so much!
Posted by: Luis Bahamondes
Professor of Gynecology, University of Campinas UNICAMP
Posted on 11/5/2009 9:15:21 AM
I had the privilege to work closely with Shelly Segal for over a decade at the Rockefeller Foundation. While others have recognized Shelly’s vast contributions in the field of contraceptive technology, I would like to applaud his support for the social sciences. Under Shelly’s leadership, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Population Science Division focused on building social science capacity in demography throughout the developing world and provided grant support for several demographic teaching and research programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that today are playing an important role in training the next generation of demographers in their countries and regions. Also under his leadership, the Foundation’s Population Science Division initiated a research program on the Status of Women and Fertility that funded much of the theoretical and empirical work that established the foundations for today’s reproductive health field.
Posted by: Mary Kritz
Senior Research Associate, Cornell University
Posted on 11/5/2009 9:14:00 AM
As one of the former Japanese fellows of the Population Council, I shall never forget the name of the giant in the discipline of reproductive and population science. My deepest condolence.
Posted by: Takahide Mori
Chair, Board of Directors, Academia for Repro-regenerative Medicine
Posted on 11/4/2009 9:31:03 AM
As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of the Pop Council for 1962-1965, I was concerned with many experimental plans, but the most exciting and long-lasting in my memory was that of clarifying the mechanism of action of estrogen. According to Shelly's hypothesis, we proved that the RNA extract extracted from uteri of castrated rats 3 hours after i.v. injection of estrogen carries the biological activity of estrogen to evoke estrogen-specific columnar transformation of cuboidal epithelial cells of another castrated rat when applied in the lumen of the uterus. The day this effect was confirmed, our crew of three men, Shelly, the late Oscar W. Davidson, and myself, jumped up and Shelly stated that this should be the real beginning of molecular endocrinology. Afterward Shelly's idea was further enormously developed. Nowadays every textbook of endocrinology always describes this theory as the definitive one. This fact must be another tribute to Shelly, our boss and an endocrinologist.
Posted by: Kenro Wada
Ex-Vice President & Ex-Director of Ob & Gyn, Prefectural Hanamaki Kosei Hospital
Posted on 11/3/2009 11:50:02 AM
Dear Harriet: It was tragic news. My family and I send our love and deepest sympathy to you. We appreciate very much his kindness and help to us. We still remember beautiful days at your home.
Posted by: Mutsuo Ishikawa
Professor Emeritus, Asahikawa Medical College
Posted on 11/3/2009 11:47:12 AM
This is to express our most sincere sympathy. Please remember that our thoughts are with you.
Posted by: Toshiharu Kamura
Director, Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Posted on 11/2/2009 10:26:02 AM
A MEMORIAL ADDRESS TO DR. SHELDON SEGAL: I am deeply sad to hear about the death of Dr. Sheldon Segal. I had been a Research Fellow of the Population Council from 1992 to 1994 at Prof. McCann’s laboratory, University of Pennsylvania. In those days, Dr. Segal had been promoted to Director from Associate Director of Biomedical Division, Population Council. He had well understood the importance of research on hypothalamic hormones in reproduction and kindly had supported my research on purification and determination of chemical structure of hypothalamic FSH-releasing hormone distinct from LH-RH. Owing to his kind support, we have been able to develop research on the elucidation of the chemical structure of inhibin and the activity of activin in Japan. Dr. Segal had been not only the greatest leader of World Population, but also an excellent scientist on reproductive biology. I deeply express my condolences to great Dr. Sheldon Segal.
Posted by: Masao Igarashi
Posted on 11/2/2009 10:25:19 AM
Shelly truly had a wonderful life, which touched so many people in so many ways. His development of new contraceptives improved the lives of countless women around the world. This is an amazing legacy. But equally important was his kindness, humility, and mentorship which enriched the lives of everyone who had the good fortune to know him.
Posted by: Ann Marie
Executive Assistant, Population Council
Posted on 10/30/2009 9:52:58 AM
Shelly welcomed me into the Council and was so generous with his time and his wisdom from the very beginning. I saw so much in him—his principles, his gentleness, his tenacity, his smarts, his compassion, his interest in the world, and his interest in the people he encountered every day. I learned a lot from Shelly just from spending time with him, doing projects with him, and watching how he operated. And I admire him in so many ways: the scientist, author, advocate, family man, mentor, administrator, visionary. But what I miss, achingly so, is my friend. The world got a little bit darker on that Saturday in October, and it will take a while before it brightens up for me again. I am so grateful to have been a part of this wonderful man's life.
Posted by: Jim Sailer
Director of Corporate Affairs, Population Council
Posted on 10/29/2009 8:30:38 AM
He was a great person with great ideas and discoveries. I feel very sad hearing the news he is no more with us. I pray for God to give strength to his family and hope he is in heaven for his good deeds.
Posted by: Samir Bhetwal
Medical Assistant, B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital
Posted on 10/28/2009 5:01:35 PM
It’s been a great honor to have known Shelly Segal, who was not only a brilliant, dedicated scientist but a very loving and caring person. I remember the time we shared chocolate cake with milk as Shelly told me wonderful stories of his many travel adventures in the world. I will never forget the last time I saw Shelly when I accompanied him to his doctor appointment. We were laughing and chatting like two little kids exploring the hospital as we went through so many doors to finally arrive at his doctor appointment. I will surely miss you, Shelly.
Posted by: Chung Wu
System Engineer, Population Council
Posted on 10/28/2009 5:00:27 PM
On behalf of Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, I would like to pay a tribute to the memory of Dr. Sheldon J. Segal, honorary member of our Society. Dr. Segal was a distinguished scientist and will be extremely missed by all those who are aware of the great contribution he rendered for men and women in the world through his expertise in reproductive health. Even if we don’t mention his incomparable achievement in the fields of global population sciences and contraceptive development, no one can help but feel deeply impressed with his gentle, warm and kind personality given to each and every person he met. I regret this great loss and wish to send my sincerest condolences to his family and his many friends and colleagues.
Posted by: Yasunori Yoshimura
Chairperson of the Executive Board, Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Posted on 10/28/2009 9:26:49 AM
I met Shelly Segal long ago when I was a young gynaecologist with interest in contraception. His generous support and encouragement was very stimulating and important for me and for many others who worked with him. He will be missed by many and always remembered for all the dedicated work that he did for women's health.
Posted by: viveca odlind
Posted on 10/27/2009 2:51:24 PM
I met Shelly in 1974 and since then Shelly was an important part of it all. Shelly meant so much to me; his vision and his wisdom were exceptional. His openness and respect towards people from all different cultures was something I valued so much; the whole idea of creating international networks as the ICCR and South to South . . . bringing together investigators from both developed and developing countries who shared the same hopes and dreams. He was such a special person with outstanding accomplishments that changed the lives of women all over the world. I am also grateful to Shelly for being such an exceptional caring friend. I once called him in despair, trying to get an appointment with an oncologist for my sister. Within a few minutes, he had the appointment all settled. Having Shelly’s recommendation was like having a magical key that opened up doors! Frank Alvarez and I feel truly blessed for having had the privilege of having had Shelly’s friendship. We will miss him so much!
Posted by: Vivian Brache
Posted on 10/27/2009 9:11:55 AM
It is with fond memories of working with you at the Population Council laboratory in 1957, and sadness at your passing, that I take the time to remember. I was the only Histologist in the lab at that time, and along with Dr. Warren Nelson, and Dolores Patanelli, we worked on various investigations into what would become the foundation of your spectacular discoveries in Reproductive Physiology. Thank you Shelly, for sharing your work ethic, and for teaching me the true nature of medical research. RIP.
Posted by: Jacquie Schmall
Posted on 10/26/2009 3:37:24 PM
We have lost one of our respected and resourceful personalities in the field of reproductive health. The services and contributions rendered by him while he was in AIIMS, India, and honored by the President of India were very valuable and in fact we are very proud of it. On my behalf and the Centre for Population Studies, Annamalai University, Tamilnadu, India, I am conveying our deepest condolences to the family members of Shelly Segal and the Population Council members.
Posted by: JOTHY Kanagasabai
Associate Professor of Population Studies, Centre for Population Studies, Annamalai University
Posted on 10/26/2009 12:12:24 PM
Shelly Segal was a respected scientist. He was known worldwide for his expertise in reproductive health, and for his many contributions to women's health, but I knew him as one of the kindest individuals I have ever met in my life. He listened to everyone's problems with an open heart filled with compassion. He was always concerned about my welfare, and was always eager to help with advice and assistance. Shelly will be terribly missed but will be always be remembered for his warmth and kindness
Posted by: Barbara Nee
Staff Assistant, Population Council
Posted on 10/26/2009 12:10:14 PM
Shelley was a great person and his death is big loss to the world. And his contribution to the science is great.
Posted by: tom
Posted on 10/25/2009 4:03:36 PM
As a young and new scientist at the Council, I was invited to give an important talk at a prestigious conference. I was surprised by my invite as I was just starting my career. I discovered that Shelly had suggested me to the organizers and had strongly advocated for my inclusion. He did all of this completely behind the scenes. Even when I learned how instrumental he was in looking after me and thanked him for this, he modestly denied having done much. This is how I remember Shelly. Working quietly behind the curtain and taking such great interest not only in the future of science, but also in the scientists themselves. I am forever grateful to him for his confidence and support of me. I will miss him but I will not forget him.
Posted by: Gary Hunnicutt
Senior Scientist, Population Council
Posted on 10/23/2009 9:49:54 AM
Shelly had it all—copious intellect, vision, common sense, charm, and joie de vivre—and for this was deeply impressive. What is even more extraordinary is that he GAVE it all. He contributed without reservation. Shelly is a gift to all the world's women—and doubly so to all who had the good fortune to be graced by his presence.
Posted by: Diane Rubino
Posted on 10/23/2009 9:26:03 AM
I'm grateful to Shelly for the interest he showed in my work. I always enjoyed meeting him and our discussions, the first time at FIGO in Chile and then frequently in New York as I became a member of the International Committee for Contraception Research. I really miss him and I'm so proud of having known him and of joining his team in the ICCR.
Posted by: Kristina Gemzell Danielsson
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Health,
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Posted on 10/22/2009 4:31:53 PM
It was always a pleasure to see Shelly return to Woods Hole each summer—he was happy to see us all, and had time, and a kind word, for everyone. We will miss him.
Posted by: Marcia
Posted on 10/22/2009 4:26:00 PM
Shelly is probably best remembered for his contributions to contraceptive development, both at the Population Council and at the Rockefeller Foundation. But as his successor at the Foundation, what I found equally impressive was his tremendous commitment to the development of young scientists, particularly in the developing world. Shelly's efforts led to the creation of two generations of first-rate scientists doing great science all across the developing world. That is as much a part of his legacy as Norplant and Mirena.
Posted by: Steven Sinding
Senior Fellow, Guttmacher Institute
Posted on 10/22/2009 3:32:37 PM
Shelly played a vital role in my getting involved in reproductive biology research. It started during his year in India and continued the following year when he invited me to his lab at Rockefeller the next summer. Our two publications jointly authored in Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.US in 1993 and 1994 provided new insights on the mechanism of action of estradiol. He was also the person who supported me in the concept and development of a birth control vaccine for control of fertility. This is the only vaccine at present whose safety, reversibility and efficacy to prevent unwanted pregnancy is demonstrated by Phase 2 trials in women of proven fertility (PNAS 1994). These will stand as tributes to his ability to promote new and unconventional scientific initiatives. Shelly was also a warm and sincere friend. He will be greatly missed by me and my family.
Posted by: Pran GP Talwar
Director Research, Talwar Research Foundation
Posted on 10/22/2009 3:32:10 PM
The earth is graced by the touch of a few geniuses who contribute to human well-being through their inventions. Dr. Sheldon J. Segal was one of them. He helped women control their fertility according to their needs and aspirations through his invention of contraceptive methods. By developing copper-bearing IUDs and implant contraceptives, Dr. Segal improved the reproductive health of millions of women across the world. As chairman of the Population Council’s Institutional Review Board, he judiciously approved research aimed at maximizing health benefits for disadvantaged populations in developing countries and reducing health risks. Segal’s contributions to contraceptive technology and reproductive health have earned him unmatched accolades. He had the vision to seek scientific knowledge and translate it for social relevance. Words are not sufficient to commemorate his accomplishments. We feel privileged to pay homage to a great scientist of our era: Sheldon J. Segal.
Posted by: Ubaidur Rob
Country Director, Bangladesh, Population Council
Posted on 10/22/2009 3:29:02 PM
When I first came to the Council, I never expected that someone as accomplished as Dr. Segal would be so accessible and kind. I had learned of his work in graduate school and was thrilled to meet him. He enthusiastically answered my many questions and I am forever grateful for his mentorship. Shelly was that unusual scholar who went beyond just answering questions, he would also stop by to say hello and see how things were going. Shelly expanded my knowledge not only of contraception but also of ethics and kindness to all people.
Posted by: Rebecca Brodsky
Special Assistant, Corporate Affairs, Population Council
Posted on 10/22/2009 12:13:12 PM
No one has done as much for family planning through contraceptive development as Shelly. Not a philanthropist in his own right, he nonetheless sold contraceptive development to the philanthropists in such a convincing way that millions of dollars that would have gone elsewhere ended up in the hands of scientists dedicated to changing the world through the provision of effective, safe contraceptives. Shelly helped investigators everywhere get involved in contraceptive development. All who knew Shelly recognized his gentleness and his concern for individuals. He wanted everyone to be as happy as himself. I will miss his company, whether horseriding in the Sahara, sailing in Bahia, canoeing in the Kashmir, playing tennis in Beijing, launching our book in New York, eating lobster at Grand Central station, visiting the Taj Mahal, or walking leisurely along Paris boulevards; however, what I will miss most of all is seeing his smile of satisfaction after achieving a scientific breakthrough.
Posted by: Elsimar Coutinho
Posted on 10/21/2009 4:17:00 PM
I had the very good fortune of working for Shelly when he was Director of Population Sciences at The Rockefeller Foundation. While I was impressed by his scientific acumen and his achievements, I was struck most by his kindness, warmth, and caring nature. The Population Program under Shelly’s leadership felt like a family, with Shelly at the head, like a loving father. He was a gem of a person—a uniquely wonderful human being! I feel blessed to have known him.
Posted by: Laura Fishler
Special Projects Manager, Evaluation, The Rockefeller Foundation
Posted on 10/21/2009 1:25:38 PM
I am saddened to learn about Dr. Segal's passing! The last time I saw him was at the Chinese Noodle restaurant on E. 48 St. He looked terrific. We shared fond memories of the translation into French of a story he wrote while vacationing in Greece. It was a real pleasure and privilege to be around such a great mind and compassionate person in the 90s at the Council.
Posted by: Nick GOUEDE
Programme Communication Specialist, United Nations Development Programme
Posted on 10/21/2009 9:52:11 AM
The world became a much sadder place this past Saturday with Shelly's departure. Indeed all the work he did on our behalf made him a great man in many ways. But, it was the man himself who made the difference. Shelly had an uncommon way of accepting all of us for who we were. He did not think of himself as a great man, and that just made him even more so. I will always remember his numerous acts of kindness—from providing advice to many of us when we needed, to offering assistance at the very low points in our lives, to placing his overcoat over my shoulders on a particularly rainy day. It was truly a blessing knowing such a kind and sweet man. I will miss him and his crooked smile.
Posted by: Laurie Constantino
Director, Administration & Procurement, Population Council
Posted on 10/21/2009 8:02:51 AM
On behalf of the International Contraceptive Access Foundation, I would like to pay tribute to Sheldon Segal for his dedication to contraceptive research and the remarkable innovations he has spearheaded, particularly those in long-term contraceptive methods. His intellect and enthusiasm for science and social issues will continue to drive us for many years to come.
Posted by: Klaus Brill
Chairman, International Contraceptive Access Foundation
Posted on 10/20/2009 6:08:21 PM
I was one of the fortunate people to come close to Shelly, to learn from him, and above all to enjoy a long-lasting friendship. To those of us who came close to him, he was not only an eminent scientist and pioneer; he was a great human being. We were always impressed by his deep concern for the poor and underprivileged in our unjust world. He was a scientist for humanity. In all his scientific endeavours and accomplishments, he had the welfare of poor people uppermost in his mind. May God bless Shelly for all that he has done.
Posted by: Mahmoud F Fathalla, Egypt
Posted on 10/20/2009 10:42:07 AM
We lost a great heart which lived for poor and destitute families all over the world.
Posted by: sudhir s
Posted on 10/20/2009 8:55:29 AM
The impact of Shelly Segals' endeavours in the field of RH research will definitely remain forever and will encourage others to do so. May God rest his departed soul in eternal peace.
Posted by: Asiful Chowdhury
Assistant Program Officer, Population Council
Posted on 10/20/2009 8:53:33 AM
I am saddened to learn about the demise of Shelly Segal. His contribution goes beyond the invention of contraceptives. He has changed the way we look at reproductive health, and brought the field into public policy and for the empowerment of women throughout the world. We will certainly miss him.
Posted by: Kunniseri Eswaran Vaidyanathan
Posted on 10/20/2009 8:51:32 AM
I am very sorry to hear of Shelly’s passing. I will always look back fondly on times we worked together at the Population Council many years ago.
Posted by: Robert Sendek
Owner, HPN Technologies Inc.
Posted on 10/19/2009 7:40:15 PM
Shelly always seemed to be in the center of everything that mattered. I decided that he was worth following everywhere and anywhere. He invited me to join the Rockefeller Foundation in 1989 and I worked on every major project with him. Shelly was one of those rare people who understood the continuum of scientific inquiry. Whether one is working with sea urchin sperm at the MBL, meeting with the Thai government on condom distribution, teaching Norplant insertion in a clinic in Santo Domingo, or discussing teen pregnancy—it all connects and for someone like me, opened the doors of the endless excitement of reproductive health. Some of my fondest memories are: dinners with family; biking at Woods Hole; watching the sunset on the Nile; a boat ride on Lake Como; dancing together on a rainy night with Frank Alvarez and Vivian Brache in Santo Domingo. He was a man in full and I feel so privileged to have been part of his life.
Posted by: Katherine D LaGuardia
Director, Medical Affairs, Johnson and Johnson
Posted on 10/19/2009 4:00:30 PM
It was a true pleasure and privilege to be around Shelly. On top of being such an accomplished and dedicated scientist, he always took the time, and effort, to reach out and help you personally, especially during difficult periods. A real friend, and I took every opportunity that gave me a chance to be with him. Shelly had a way of rebooting my psychological being, and I will never forget him.
Posted by: Stan Mierzwa
Posted on 10/19/2009 3:08:15 PM
Dr. Segal was such a gentle, kind man who always took the time to say hello and engage you in conversation. I remember a few years back we were both on line at the supermarket just talking, and they rang him up first. He decided to wait for me so that we could walk back to the office and continue our dialog. I said to him 'Dr. Segal, I’m sure you have better things to do than stand around and wait for me.' He replied something to the effect that if he couldn’t spend a few minutes with people that he was fond of, it was a day not well spent. While Dr. Segal was a man of many accomplishments, I believe his biggest one was being a first-class human being. He really set the model for all of us to aspire to.
Posted by: Richard Kessler
Posted on 10/19/2009 3:07:18 PM
Shelly was not only a smart man, but a sweet, kind man, no matter who you were, or what your status in life.
Posted by: Craig
Posted on 10/19/2009 11:16:33 AM
I have such warm memories of Shelly. He was a great man and a true mensch.
Posted by: Gina
Posted on 10/19/2009 11:10:33 AM
Shelly was a lion in our field who fought tenaciously for the ideas and the resources needed for innovations in contraception that would be safe, affordable, and acceptable, not only for women but also for men. He was one of too few in the early decades who understood that the burden of birth control can and should be shared by men with women. He also worked to improve the quality of methods, a central concern of women. For example, Shelly spent years persuading the Chinese government to switch from ill-fitting steel IUDs to copper-bearing IUDs, a major improvement for vast numbers of women. I was with him in Bangladesh in the 1970s where he also worked to improve the quality of their IUD program. I most remember Shelly for his devotion, the twinkle in his eye, and his willingness to stand up for women's right to control their own fertility.
Posted by: Adrienne Germain
President, International Women's Health Coalition
Posted on 10/19/2009 10:56:33 AM
Shelly was not only a brilliant man—he was one of the kindest people I have ever met. He made such a difference in the world—both from his research and work, and from his individual dealings with people. He was a good man, in every sense of the word.
Posted by: Vivien Rabin
Posted on 10/19/2009 10:53:33 AM
I would like to pay tribute to the achievements of Sheldon Segal during his superb career and thank him for the contributions he made that improved the reproductive health of men and women. Through the years we exchanged our views and analyzed the literature and new data well in tune with each other, with the goal of better understanding scientific results, designing improved studies and experiments, and eventually developing new products to improve men’s and women’s lives. I was always impressed by his sharp analysis of information, new ideas for research, and ability to voice his commitment to women’s rights.
Posted by: Regine Sitruk-Ware
Executive Director, Research and Development, Population Council
Posted on 10/19/2009 10:16:33 AM
About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.
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Contacts and Resources
For 60 years, the Population Council has changed the way the world thinks about important health and development issues. Explore an interactive timeline of the Council's history, learn more about some of our key contributions, and watch a short video about why your support is so important to us.