In memory of Vincent G. Kokich Editor-in-Chief, 2011-2013

When many words have already been written to describe the life of Vincent George Kokich (September 17, 1944-July 24, 2013), it seems unfair to rely upon one person to summarize the influence he had. As news of Dr Kokich’s death spread, we received messages from hundreds of friends, authors, and reviewers around the world. We cannot publish them all here, but I would like to share some of them with you. By reading these heartfelt words, you will began to understand the diversity of the ways in which Vince inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to improve teaching skills, research opportunities, and the quality of orthodontic treatment in their communities throughout the world.

Condolences from AJO-DO authors and reviewers

I think we’re all in shock over the passing of Dr Kokich. I just wanted to say that he was an amazing editor, mentor, and gentleman. He has always been encouraging of my research and decision to stay in academics. He’s an inspiration for junior faculty and orthodontists like myself. Our profession and the world lost a great man this week. My thought and prayers go out to his family and you.

Tung Nguyen

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC

I feel sorry and sad after knowing this news; we have lost a knowledgeable person. May God bless him and keep his soul in peace. The orthodontic community can never forget his efforts and contributions to the specialty.


Karachi, Pakistan

What a shock! I am so sorry to hear that terrible news. Please pass my condolences to the family as well. Such a loss! If there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Liran Levin

Haifa, Israel

Oh, I am so sorry, actually badly shocked, for the loss. I had submitted a paper, and I remember he e-mailed me 2 or 3 times in person, to discuss my article with me in rather long and detailed conversations. He was so energetic and caring. That experience left a good memory of him as an exceptional chief editor. It is indeed a loss for all who knew that great person in any way. My condolences to his family and colleagues. May he rest in peace.

Vahid Rakhshan

Tehran, Iran

This is shocking news. Please, is it really true? I am really confused now. When I saw your e-mail a few minutes ago, I thought it was a mail informing me of the decision on the last manuscript I reviewed for the journal. Indeed, this is a shock. It is just too difficult to believe.

C. O. Onyeaso

Port Harcourt, Nigeria

I was very much saddened by the news of the passing of one of the most significant contemporary contributors to our profession. His impact in advancing the art and science of dentistry extended well beyond our specialty. He knew we are dentists first and that as specialists we must relate to the other dental disciplines. Comprehensive care was his mantra. Yet, his true professional love was orthodontics, evident through the students he taught and the patients he cared for. His legacy is assured through all he “touched.” And of course, his leadership as editor of the AJO-DO was exemplary and carried this pinnacle publication to even greater heights. The faculty and residents at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia extend condolences to the family and many colleagues of Dr Vincent Kokich.

Alan Borislow

Philadelphia, Pa

On behalf of the European Orthodontic Society, I would like to express our condolences to all of Vince’s family and friends and everybody at the AJO-DO . This must have been such a shock for everybody, and you are all very much in our thoughts and prayers. Vince had so many good friends in the European Society, and we all enjoyed his company very much at our recent congress in Iceland. He will be missed worldwide and very much missed by those in our Society. As you say, he really was an inspirational leader and was very much “one of a kind.” His death is a massive loss to our profession. We are thinking of you all.

Sue Cunningham

Honorary secretary, European Orthodontic Society

London, United Kingdom

I am very sorry for this news. I have known him as a great man and a genteel scientist. I pray to Allah for him to have mercy and forgiveness.

Ahmad Burhan

Hama, Syria

It is a real shock to me. I stayed at his office when I was a visiting scholar from 1995 to 1997. He became a close friend, adviser, and teacher. I am really sorry that the great academician left. The recent e-mail from him is still waiting for my reply. The last time I met him was in Philadelphia for the AAO meeting. I invited him to KAO 2005 at Jeju Island, Korea. This year, KAO 2013 will be held at Jeju Island again. Please send my condolence to his family. He and his wife were invited to my apartment in Redmond in 1996. I know how sorrowful it is to lose a spouse and family suddenly. With my deep sorrows and condolences.

Tae-Woo Kim

Seoul National University

Vice president, Korean Association of Orthodontists

Seoul, Korea

How much it is very bad news I have heard this morning, the sudden death of Dr Vincent G Kokich, Editor-in-Chief of the AJO-DO . I don’t know him in person, but I know him well during at least the last 5 years as one in the reviewer board of the AJO-DO . I have gained too much experience from his ethics and the very academic comments and guides. His death is a timeless big loss to the orthodontic profession, not only to his family and to the AJO-DO editorial board but to all of us in the United States and all over the world. Now I can say with too much sadness that we lost one of the biggest orthodontic idols; God bless his soul.

Hussam M. AbdelKader

AlAzhar University

Cairo, Egypt

Although I never got an opportunity to meet Dr Vincent G Kokich personally, looking at his contribution to dentistry in general and orthodontics in particular, I can say that he was a great human being. Please accept my condolence on his demise.

Memory can tell us only what we were,

In company with those we loved;

It cannot help us find out what each of us,

Alone, must now become.

Yet, no person is really alone;

Those who live no more still echo

Within our thoughts and words,

And what they did has become

Woven into what we are.

My best wishes and prayers.

Dinesh Rao

Pacific Dental College & Hospital, Pacific University

Udaipur, Rajasthan State, India

Thank you for your e-mail confirming the sad news heard before. I deeply regret this enormous loss for the family of Dr Kokich, the orthodontic and dental communities, and your distinct journal. Thanks again for notification and best regards.

Ales Celar

Vienna, Austria

I am sure every one of us felt shock and dismay when we heard this awful news. Dr Kokich lived a life that inspired every orthodontist. This tragedy will echo through the journal and our lives for a long time. You were very lucky to work with such a brilliant and caring person. I know I feel that, and I did not work directly with him. The next editor-in-chief will have some huge shoes to fill.

Diane Johnson

Mooresville, Ind

I heard the news, and I am also shocked and deeply saddened. Vince was a great man, and even though we had met only a few times, I felt him as a close friend. I will miss him.

Demetrios Halazonetis

Kifissia, Greece

Please accept my heartfelt condolence on the death of Dr Vincent Kokich. I pray that God may grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss. My heartfelt condolence also goes to all members of the AAO, particularly the editorial staff of AJO-DO . I met Dr Kokich for the first time in February of this year at the Young Leaders Meeting. We had a brief chat, and he was very friendly as he explained the workings of AJO-DO to me and some of his future plans for the journal. He indeed revolutionized the journal, and we will forever remember his very positive changes to the journal. We shall all miss him dearly. Praying that his gentle soul may rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Gerald Ikenna Isiekwe

Lagos, Nigeria

My deepest sympathy to Vince’s family at this very sad time. His wife and family are in my thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace. Also, my sympathies to all the staff at the AJO-DO editorial office. His death is a great shock to all who dealt with him via the journal. He had a profound influence on the development of the journal and was a true professional.

Declan Millett

University Dental School and Hospital

Wilton Cork, Ireland

I heard for the first time of the sudden death of Vincent Kokich, and I’m very shocked. Take my sympathy for this tremendous loss for his family, his colleagues and friends, and the global orthodontic family. I know him personally from our award celebration in 2008 and from several EOS meetings and appreciate his great competence in our specialty and open-minded and friendly communication with him. I want to express again my deep sympathy and wish for the future of the AJO-DO all the best.

Winfried Harzer

Dresden, Germany

Thank you so much for your e-mail. We were all shocked by this terrible news. It is an enormous loss for the AJO-DO and for orthodontics. I cannot come to the funeral, but I will certainly be present with my thoughts and prayers.

Lorenzo Franchi

Università degli Studi di Firenze

Firenze, Italy

This a sad day for orthodontists and a sad moment in the history of orthodontics. The news made a shock wave around our world. It is quite impressive and sobering to reflect on how, through his mind and hands entirely committed to orthodontics and the well-being of patients, Vincent Kokich built such a strong link across the world. His contributions will never be fully known, as their impact affected the lives of countless unknown patients. Vincent brought pride to his family, country, and the world of orthodontics. He did not cross life in silence. He spread much good and goodness around, and passed with his “boots on.” On his shoulders, much will be built, and his unique legacy shall remain. My thoughts and those of my colleagues at the American University of Beirut and in Lebanon are with his family and all of the AJO-DO staff—his larger family for the past 2 and a half years. With our deepest condolences, we realize how disrupting this moment is for the AJO-DO enterprise. Please feel free to call on me and my colleagues to help keep the AJO-DO the higher-impact journal that Vincent and your staff helped achieve. We stand ready to shoulder the additional workload likely to build up at this worst of times. We owe it to our journal. We owe it to Vincent Kokich.

Joseph Ghafari

Beirut, Lebanon

Thank you very much for your e-mail with the sad news about the death of Dr Vince Kokich. Your mail is much appreciated, as news had not yet reached me in The Netherlands. Dr Kokich was a special person, gifted with a rare talent to be crystal clear in his opinions, yet being very polite to his opponents at the same time. The “Point/Counterpoint” in the July issue of the AJO-DO on Wilckodontics may serve as a marvelous example of this talent. The AJO-DO lost a great editor, and orthodontics lost a great role model.

Jos Dibbets

Groningen, The Netherlands

Vince Kokich’s death dives the orthodontic world into a deep sadness with the loss of an undisputed master and leader of our medical discipline. I join in sorrow of the editorial team and his family in front of this brutal loss of this grand lecturer with a great humanity.

Monique Raberin

Lyon, France

To all Dr Kokich’s friends at the AJO-DO :

Really we have lost a leader who inspired us. It is a great loss.

Haider Hashim

Doha, Qatar

It is a very sad news to hear about the sudden departure of Dr Vincent G. Kokich from a heart attack. We have lost a great leader and good friend in the orthodontic world. We all pray for his eternal peace and offer condolences to his family.

Zhihe Zhao

President, Chinese Orthodontic Society

Chinese Stomatological Association

Sichuan University

Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Vince was a giant figure in the orthodontic world. He was a gentleman, a diplomat, an educator, and a world figure who traveled tirelessly, providing valuable information to all his audiences. His lectures were always evidence-based and applicable to researchers and clinicians. He really elevated the standard of orthodontic care worldwide. Vince and I lectured together in many places around the world, so we were together many times throughout the years. He was the best lecturer I had ever heard. Wherever he spoke, audiences were awed and really listened and learned, including myself. . . . I will miss him greatly, as I am sure everyone who knew him will. What I cherish most about him is how he treated everyone as friends and colleagues, as if we all were at the same level as he was, although he towered over almost everyone.

Roberto Justus

President, World Federation of Orthodontists

Mexico City, Mexico

It is with great sorrow that we learned about the unexpected passing away of Dr Vincent Kokich, Editor-in-Chief of the AJO-DO . His contributions to orthodontics are highly respected, and the orthodontic community will definitely miss his assiduous input as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal and as one of the best teachers and presenters in the field. The Egyptian Orthodontic Society extends its most sincere condolences to the AJO-DO .

Abbas Zaher

Egyptian Orthodontic Society

Alexandria, Egypt

Vince and I met over 10 years ago in Barcelona, Spain. What started as a professional relationship soon became a genuine friendship, and I got to meet Marilyn and the Kokich family. At their homes in Fircrest and Gig Harbor or somewhere in the world at one of the many conferences he lectured at and attended, Vince made a huge impact in both my professional and personal life. I feel fortunate for every minute we spent together. Vince inspired people to be better. Throughout the years, many words have been used to define Vince: kindness, thoroughness, generosity, excellence, family man, laughter, loyalty, admiration, and exemplary. Vince touched so many lives as a mentor, role model, lecturer, orthodontist, editor, author, and teacher. Above all, he was an amazing human being and a source of inspiration for so many of us. We love you and will miss you.

Dan Grauer

Santa Monica, Calif

There are no words to describe how deeply my colleagues and I were upset to learn of the sudden and so unexpected death of Professor Kokich. We had so many very friendly and close meetings and professional debates that we will miss immensely, and it is hard for us to imagine any professional gatherings in the United States and Europe without him. We will never forget his wonderful talents in nurturing old and new friendships and his open and generous personality. Please receive our sincere condolences at his loss.

Maja Ovsenik, Franc Farčnik, Jasmina Primožič, and Miroslav Milačić

Ljubljana, Slovenia

I’m deeply sorry about the loss of Dr Kokich. He was a great clinician who inspired us a lot. Best regards.

Derya Germec Cakan

Istanbul, Turkey

Thank you for informing me about the very sad news of the sudden death of Editor-in-Chief Vincent Kokich. He has done a wonderful job, and we admired him. Best regards to his family.

Inger Kjær

Copenhagen, Denmark

I was very sad and shocked by the news of the death of Vince Kokich. I understand that this news has brought great sadness to the scientific community. I leave my condolences and feelings to his family and to the AJO-DO.

Regina M. Rontani-Puppin

Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil

I am also in a state of shock since learning the news. I met him in person, and we really have lost a leader who inspired us. I will pray for him and remember him forever. Kind regards.

Teresa Pinho

Paredes, Portugal

Let angels and peace be with him in his journey. The state of shock will go away quickly, but the memory of the world’s best orthodontist will last forever.

Goran Gaspar

Split, Croatia

I’m so sorry and shocked that Dr Vincent G Kokich had passed away suddenly. We would like to offer our deepest sympathy. He was a great orthodontist and truly great leader. He will live in our hearts forever. May his soul rest in peace.

Toshiko Sekiya

Tsurumi University

Yokohama, Japan

Vince was a true friend of mine and a person who helped me a lot for my lectures. I will eternally live grateful to him for this. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Mario Polo

San Juan, Puerto Rico

I wish to offer my personal condolences, and on behalf of the European Journal of Orthodontics , to you, the friends, the colleagues, and most importantly the family of Vincent Kokich. I am saddened and shocked at the sad news that Vince has passed away. Over the last few years, we have had an excellent professional relationship, which I have enjoyed very much. Most recently, we had several meetings in Reykjavik. My thoughts and prayers go to you all.

David Rice

Editor, European Journal of Orthodontics

I would like to express my sincere condolences on the death of Dr. Vince Kokich. He was an example to all of us, extremely dedicated and always trying to find the right way. I met him last during the EOS 2013 Reykjavik Congress during breakfast and he seemed to be in very good health. I’m so sorry that I could not convey my condolences in person. Please accept my deepest sympathies for his family. “Seashells remind us that every passing life leaves something beautiful behind.”

Bart Vande Vannet Brussels, Belgium

The death of Dr. Kokich is a great loss for the orthodontic society. On the behalf of the Faculty of Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, and myself, I would like to convey our deep condolences to the editorial office of the AJO-DO and to Dr. Kokich’s family.

Susan Al-Khateeb Jordan University of Science and Technology Irbid, Jordan

So sad to hear the bad news about Vince’s passing away. Vince was a true friend of mine and a person who helped me a lot with my lectures. I will eternally live grateful to him for this. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Mario Polo San Juan, Puerto Rico

I keep telling myself it isn’t real. I am in shock and am really sad. I am sure you are being inundated with thousands of e-mails as I write this, so I won’t go on. I’m so glad I got to see him in Philly, and my last e-mails with Vince were really great, and he has always been so supportive of everything I did, always looked out for me, and wanted me to do more and more. I am going to really miss him. What a loss on every level, not just orthodontics. It is a massive void in the profession.

Sanjivan Kandasamy

Perth, Australia

It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with Vince on the AJO-DO these last 3 years. He always made me feel a valued and respected member of the team, and he never overlooked an opportunity to give me credit for something I had done. I learned many things from him, including how to be more organized and productive. He brought new energy to the journal and inspired us all with his enthusiasm and his many, many plans for the future. Once, when we were dealing with some troublesome problem or another, I commented on his upbeat attitude. He told me that he had always been a “glass half-full” kind of person, and I never saw him otherwise. It’s clear from the response of AJO-DO authors and reviewers that he had earned the respect and admiration of people around the world . . . and that includes here in the AJO-DO office. I have greatly enjoyed working with him and will miss him.

Chris Burke

Managing Editor, AJO-DO

Seattle, Wash

Vince had the ability to analyze adult dental problems by recognizing each component of a malocclusion. Then he would turn to a group of the best specialists he could find for their opinions. He would essentially challenge each of them to see the “big picture”—including the best treatment approaches that each could contribute. This attitude forced everyone involved to listen to all other approaches and to defend his or her own specialty in the process of arriving at a consensus plan. This was the beginning of a true interdisciplinary approach to treatment planning in dentistry. Day after day, as I adjust to the new position of Interim Editor of the AJO-DO , I miss working with Vince nearly every minute as we continue to represent and honor the best authors and reviewers in orthodontics.

David L. Turpin

Interim Editor-in-Chief , AJO-DO

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Apr 7, 2017 | Posted by in Orthodontics | Comments Off on In memory of Vincent G. Kokich Editor-in-Chief, 2011-2013
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