Joseph Lang

October 31, 1923March 7, 2019

Joseph Herman Lang, PhD, of Brookline died peacefully on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the age of 95 after a short bout with the flu and pneumonia. Born October 31, 1923 to Max and Mary Lang, he grew up in Brooklyn, NY.

He graduated from UCLA in biochemistry and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Florida State University in Tallahassee. After working for Shering, Inc., he joined the laboratory of Dr. Elliott Lasser in Pittsburgh, PA investigating contrast media reactions. He followed Dr. Lasser when he was chosen to establish the Department of Radiology at the University of California San Diego as its first Chairman.

Through this work he met his future wife, Elvira V. Lang, MD, PhD, who visited the laboratory from the University of Heidelberg. After their marriage in 1984 and a short stay in Germany, the couple moved to back to Del Mar, CA. There Joe was profoundly engaged in environmental matters and beach preservation.

As Vice Chair of the Residential Task Force, he worked indefatigably with the Friends of Del Mar on preserving the beach for the public and establishing Seagrove Park, which is commemorated on a plaque on top of the park bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He retired from UCSD and dedicated himself to supporting Elvira’s successful medical and academic career, moving with her to St. Louis, Palo Alto, Iowa City, and Brookline.

He was a brilliant scientist and writer whose work and publications brought the field of contrast media research forward. He loved nature, the outdoors, and exercised to the end. Above all, he was a gentle, loving, and supportive man who brought kindness and happiness to all around him, and particularly to Elvira, his beloved wife of 35 years.

To best honor Joe’s memory, enjoy a meal with a cherished person and give a toast to love, life, and joy.


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