Statement on the Passing of Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr.

May 26, 2018


“It is with great sadness that I recognize the passing of the legendary Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr. Adhering to his personal credo that ‘education is the great equalizer,’ Dr. Leffall moved beyond the boundaries of prejudice to be successful in his education, his medical career and his life. Dr. Leffall’s tremendous contribution to the medical community will surely be remembered not only for the lives he saved, but also the countless lives he touched. In addition to serving as the Charles Drew Professor of Surgery at Howard University, Dr. Leffall also was the first black president of the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons. I got to know LaSalle well when he served as Chairman of the Board of Susan G. Komen. His support for programs and strident advocacy in addressing health care disparities for the benefit of the African American population led Komen to proudly administer the Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. Fellowship in Health Disparities Fellowship in his name. He was truly the spark that ignited Komen’s focus on addressing disparities. Over the course of his career, Dr. Leffall received countless awards, taught nearly 5,000 medical students and trained at personally trained at least 250 general surgery residents. His legacy will live on in their talents. My thoughts and prayers are with LaSalle’s wife Ruthie, and their son, LeSalle, III.”