Cincinnati Children's Blog

Remembering Dr. David Glass – A Genius and a Gentleman

Remembering Dr. David Glass – A Genius and a Gentleman

“He was one of those quiet leaders that made you want to walk through fire or water to get things done for him,” said Mary Kinsella talking about David N. Glass, MD.

Dr. Glass, a Professor/Faculty in the department of Rheumatology and member of the Cincinnati Children’s family for twenty-five years, died November 18 after a long illness. He was 70.

Mary worked with Dr. Glass since 2004. “He was very British,” she said. He loved having afternoon tea and taking a five-minute break to enjoy it. He was calm and reserved, but he also could come up with one-liners that would make you laugh out loud.”

Dr. Glass devoted his career to studying childhood musculoskeletal diseases and was a pioneer in researching the complex genetics of juvenile arthritis. He was recognized as the leading authority on rheumatic disease in children and respected around the world for both his leadership and scientific achievements.

He became director of the division of Rheumatology at Cincinnati Children’s in 1987, a position he held until 2006. Under his leadership, the division grew to become one of the largest and most productive in the world. An external Scientific Advisory Committee in 2006 considered the division to be the ‘benchmark’ program for all of pediatric rheumatology.

Thousands of people have Dr. Glass to thank for helping them enjoy better quality lives despite living with a chronic, potentially crippling arthritic disease.

With its robust collaboration between research and clinical care, the division of Rheumatology under Dr. Glass’ leadership became a shining example of how a research enterprise should work.  He pioneered the kind of translational research that Cincinnati Children’s is so well known for today.

Dr. Glass was more than a pioneering scientist.  He was true gentleman. There was never a shortage of news coming out of his division. But Dr. Glass never blew his own horn.  Instead he deflected media interviews and public recognition to others in his division, all of whom viewed him a mentor.  He was reserved and humble, but in his desire to give back their childhoods to children with rheumatic disease, he was tirelessly competitive.

In addition to his medical and scientific career, Glass was strongly committed to his children’s education, both academic and religious. He was active in his support of the Jewish community and a long-time member of Northern Hills Synagogue.

Dr. Glass was a pioneer and a beloved mentor who epitomized the values of Cincinnati Children’s. He made our world a gentler place to live and will be missed by anyone who ever met him.

His family has requested that in lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution in honor of Dr. Glass be made to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

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