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Henry Metzger


Thursday, November 22, 2018

HANOVER, NH — Henry Metzger, 86, died November 20, 2018 at Kendal in Hanover, NH.

He was born in Mainz, Germany on March 23, 1932 and immigrated to New York City in January, 1938. He attended Bronx High School of Science (’49), the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Rochester (’53), and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University (’57). After 2 years of internal medicine residency at the New York Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, he was inducted into the Public Health Service in 1959, serving at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Except for 2 years as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow with SJ Singer at the University of California’s San Diego campus, he spent his entire career at NIH pursuing basic research in molecular aspects of the immune system and in administration-serving for 10 years as the first Director of Intramural Research with the newly formed National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. He authored over 250 scientific articles, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was active in professional organizations having served as an officer of the American Association of Immunologists for over 21 years, as President and Councilor of the International Union of Immunological Societies and over 40 years with NIH’s Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences. Henry was active with the Washington, DC chapter of the Medical Committee for Human Rights that provided medical support during demonstrations in Washington, DC related to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Vietnam War.

Henry enjoyed reading in science and history, hiking in the White Mountains, cooking and, before his final illness, running, having qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon in 2007 and ‘08, among many other marathons. In retirement he also volunteered with Learning Ally, recording scientific textbooks for blind and dyslexic students.

He is survived by Deborah, his wife of over 60 years, and their children, Eran Daniel (wife Patricia; children: Frederick, Emy); Renee Butler Metzger (husband John, children: Seth, Zachariah) ; Carl Elias (wife Ellen, children: Jesse, Leah) and his brother, Frank (wife Lore) of Palm Beach, FL.

A memorial service will be planned at a future date. Donations in his memory may be made to Kendal at Hanover: Webster Performance Fund (unrestricted).