A third study, which began about 30 years ago and is still ongoing, looks at dietary factors in addition to salt, such as animal protein, which contribute to high blood pressure.
“I remember there was criticism that he was an older man in the ’70s, and he was able to complete the project’s five years,” said Dr. Philip Greenland, professor in the Northwestern Department of Preventive Medicine, in an interview. “Then he got several renewals of the grant application, and at the last renewal he was 95 years old.”
Jeremiah Stamler was born on October 27, 1919 in Brooklyn and grew up in West Orange, NJ. His parents – George Stamler, a dentist, and Rose (Baras) Stamler, a teacher – had immigrated from Russia.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, he took his medical degree from Long Island College of Medicine (now SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University) in Brooklyn in 1943 and was an intern at the Kings County Hospital Center, also in Brooklyn. He served in the Bermuda Army as a radiologist before beginning his career at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, where he worked with Dr. Louis Katz, a top cardiologist.
“Dr. Katz told me, ‘Why the hell do you want to go into research?'” Dr. Stamler told The Tribune. “‘You never win. When you first discover something, people will say, “I do not believe it.” Then you do more research and verify it, and they will say, “Yes, but …” Then you do more research, verify it further, and they will say, “I knew it all along.” ‘And he had right.”
In the late 1950s, Dr. Stumbles to both the Chicago Board of Health and Northwestern as a part-time assistant in medicine. In 1965, when he was director of the board’s heart disease control program, he was called to testify by the House Committee on U-American Activities. Accused of being part of a Communist Party underground in the 1950s, he refused to testify or to take the Fifth Amendment, as many other witnesses did. Instead, he made a statement that he was a loyal American.