Dr Sheldon Baumrind passed away on July 22, 2017, of complications from multiple myeloma. He was 92. A native New Yorker, Dr Baumrind earned his dental degree from New York University. He practiced general dentistry in Berkeley, California, for several years before earning an orthodontic specialty certificate and a master of science degree in cell biology from the University of Oregon.
We have lost a giant in orthodontics. He was truly one of the century’s greatest orthodontic clinical scientists and a powerful mentor for so many residents and faculty at both the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific, San Francisco, starting in 1996 and the University of California at San Francisco, where he joined the faculty in 1969 and served as a professor of the Department of Growth and Development. He was a willing mentor for many other leading orthodontic scientists from around the world. A world-class scientist, Dr Baumrind was also truly a down-to-earth and humble man who preferred to be called “Shelly” by everyone, including his staff, fellow faculty, and students. He was always ready to help any of his colleagues no matter what area of the world they lived in or even if they had different opinions about the problems they were so hoping to solve. Because he was so wise about interpersonal relationships, world history, and endless other areas of interest, I frequently went to Shelly with not only my research issues, but also personal problems. He was always a source of good advice about a friend’s problems.
Shelly was so proud to be honored as the first Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Endowed Professor of Orthodontics in 2015 at our dental school. This appointment is supported by a $1.2 million endowment established by Arthur A. Dugoni, Dean Emeritus of our school. But his real life’s work was as director of the research center he created: the Craniofacial Research Instrumentation Laboratory. He was the author of more than 110 original publications in the orthodontic, medical, statistical, and engineering literature. His primary research interest for the past 30 years has been the development of integrated 3-dimensional craniofacial measurement systems for use in clinical dentistry. He was the principal investigator of several studies supported by the National Institute of Dental Research and served as a founding officer and cochair of the Joint University of California Berkeley-University of California San Francisco Graduate Program in Bioengineering.
Shelly was also the principal investigator for the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation Craniofacial Growth Legacy Collection project. With support from the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation, 9 of the 11 known collections of longitudinal craniofacial growth records in the United States and Canada are featured on the project’s Web site. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a professor emeritus of the University of California at San Francisco. His awards include the 2008 Craniofacial Biology Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research.
Shelley is survived by his loving wife, Joan Finton; his daughters, Risa, Nikki, and Susan; stepdaughters, Julie and Nora Finton; and a grandson, Ben Rivera.