Name:   Dr. Morris Ziff

From:  The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas
Date:  Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Dr. Morris Ziff: Rheumatology expert at UT Southwestern

Dr. Morris Ziff realized his childhood dream to be a doctor – though he considered leaving medical school after two weeks of anatomy.

He became a pioneering authority on arthritic and rheumatic disorders and received international acclaim for his long career as a researcher, teacher and clinician, including 30 years in Dallas.

Dr. Ziff, 91, died Monday of a heart attack at a UT Southwestern Medical Center hospital.

"I don't think there is any question that he was a world figure ... in the research of rheumatoid arthritis and a very important educator in developing young faculty," said Dr. Donald Seldin, the former longtime UT Southwestern chairman of medicine, who recruited Dr. Ziff in 1958.

"He was a major figure, and he contributed in a major way to our advancement," said Dr. Seldin, now the William Buchanan professor of medicine. "He established the rheumatology unit at the [Dallas] medical school, and it quickly became one of the outstanding units in the country."

Before coming to Dallas, Dr. Ziff was a noted research figure in rheumatology, having contributed to the identification of the rheumatoid factor, a blood marker used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis.

Despite his many accomplishments, Dr. Ziff was especially pleased that he had trained about 120 fellows in rheumatology "who are now in positions of responsibility all over the world," said his wife, Jacqueline Ziff of Dallas.

"He had a very inquiring mind, so the research aspect appealed to him," Mrs. Ziff said. "On the other hand, he was very much a humanitarian, and his patients held him in high regard."

Born in New York, Dr. Ziff was educated at New York University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1934 and a doctorate in chemistry in 1937.

Dr. Ziff decided medicine wasn't for him after two weeks of gross anatomy at the New York University College of Medicine. But his laboratory partner, Dr. Severo Ochoa, who became a Nobel laureate, persuaded his friend to stay in school. Dr. Ziff earned a medical degree from NYU in 1948.

Dr. Ziff received numerous prestigious honors, including the Heberden Medal, the Carol Nachman Prize in Rheumatology and the Distinguished Service Award from the Arthritis Foundation. In 1981, he was named an Ashbel Smith professor by the UT System Board of Regents, the highest faculty honor bestowed by the system.

He retired as chairman of rheumatology in 1984, but he continued to work in his private laboratory until 1998 and was in clinical practice until 1999. He was professor emeritus at the time of his death and held the Morris Ziff Professorship in Rheumatology.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 W. Northwest Highway. He will be buried in Emanuel Cemetery.

In addition to Dr. Ziff's wife, survivors include two sons, Edward Ziff of New York and David Ziff of Chapel Hill, N.C.; a stepdaughter, Linda Gillentine of Abilene; and four grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to rheumatology research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, P.O. Box 910888, Dallas, Texas 75391-0888.


From:  The Herald Sun, Durham, North Carolina
Date:  Friday, August 26, 2005

DALLAS, TEXAS - Dr. Morris Ziff, one of the founding fathers of modern rheumatology, died August 22, 2005, at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was 91. Services were August 24, 2005 at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home, with burial in Emanuel Cemetery in Dallas.

Dr. Ziff, a professor emeritus at UT Southwestern, was the first director of the Department of Internal Medicine’s rheumatic disease division and the first director of the Harold C. Simmons Arthritis Research Center.

In 1958, he joined UT Southwestern as a professor of internal medicine.  Known as a mentor, he trained 120 fellows, many of whom went on to lead rheumatology units throughout the world. In 1981, he was named an Ashbel Smith Professor by the UT System Board of Regents, the highest faculty honor bestowed by the university system.

In 1982, the Morris Ziff Professorship in Rheumatology was named in his honor. It was a position he held until his death. Dr. Ziff ran an active research lab until 1988 and an active clinical practice until 1999.

Dr. Ziff’s honors were numerous. He was awarded the first Gold Medal given by the American College of Rheumatology. He also was a recipient of the London’s Heberden Medal, the Marchman Award, the Carol Nachman Prize in Rheumatology, the Distinguished Service Award of the Arthritis Foundation and the first World Conference on Inflammation Prize. He was named to honorary memberships in more than 20 rheumatologic societies worldwide.

Surviving are his wife, Jacqueline; sons, Dr. Edward [and David Ziff]; stepdaughter, Linda Gillentine; Memorials may be made to rheumatology research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, P.O. Box 910888, Dallas, TX 75391-0888.