We are saddened by the recent death of Richard V Clark, MD, PhD. Richard was a warm and gracious man, very accomplished, greatly admired and respected by all who knew him and at the same time, he was very thoughtful, funny, and kind, with a twinkle in his eyes.
The American Society of Andrology was Richard’s most favored professional society and in which he was most active. His many activities in ASA included: Director of the Post-Graduate Course, Chair of the Educational Policy Committee, Chair of the Awards Committee, member of the Executive Council, Vice-President, and President (in 1998-1999). Richard provided a useful link for the Society between academics and private industry based on his own very successful early career at the University of Washington, NIH, Emory and Duke, paired with the last 20 years of his professional career at Glaxo Smith Kline.
Richard grew up in southern California where he enjoyed competitive swimming and surfing. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College in 1967 and went on to Duke for his Masters in Zoology. He then moved to Seattle where he earned his MD and PhD degrees, and served his Medicine internship, residency, and Chief Residency at the University of Washington. While in Seattle he also married his sweetheart, Martha Brimm whom he had met at Duke.
Richard then moved to NIH in the Clinical Research Branch of NICHD where he worked largely with Richard Sherins. He went on to academic positions at Emory and Duke where he continued his excellence in patient care, clinical research, and education, for example as Director of the Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program at Duke for several years. His clinical research covered several areas of Endocrinology, particularly the hormonal control of human testicular function and generated many original publications and presentations.
At approximately his mid-career point he moved to leadership positions at Glaxo Smith Kline. Richard led several major programs over his approximately 20 years at Glaxo, ranging from diabetes to prostate disease and muscular wasting disorders. Many therapeutic agents were developed under his guidance including several that reached FDA approval and entered medical practice, such as dutasteride (Avodart) for prostate disease.
Richard was active in many valuable community activities such as the Vestry at his Episcopal Church. He also was a leader of other entities such as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and a member of the Review Committee for the Contraceptive Development Program of NICHD.
He was a very strong family man, with his wife Martha and daughter Elizabeth (Lizzi) whom he taught how to ride a bike, fix a tire and develop an interest in becoming a physician. She followed his example by also earning her MD at the University of Washington and she married another physician, Nathan Furukawa and they have two children, Sofia and. Liam.
Richard died on March 14, 2023, at age 77 due to the complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Many of us were lucky enough to have known Richard well for many years and to have interacted with him in various facets of his multidimensional career. Such interactions were invariably productive and pleasant. We will miss him greatly and look back in strong admiration and respect for his life and career.
William J Bremner, MD, PhD
Ronald S Swerdloff, MD