Marvin S. Legator

Marvin S. Legator, PhD, 79, passed away Monday July 11, 2005 at his residence. Dr. Legator was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 27, 1926. He received his PhD in Microbial Genetics and Biochemistry at the University of Illinois in 1951. He founded the Division of Environmental Toxicology in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1976 and served as its Director until 1999. He remained active in the department as a Professor until the time of his death. Previously he was a Professor of Genetics at Brown University, Chief of the Genetic Toxicology Branch of the Food and Drug Administration and toxicologist at the Shell Development Company. He and his wife Donna were married in 1960 and remained lovingly together for 44 years.

He was a pioneer in the development of research on the effects of toxic agents on the genetic apparatus, in developing methods for monitoring human populations for exposures to genetically toxic agents and in developing methods for assessing health effects in communities with exposures to toxic agents.

He was an elected member of the Collegium Ramazzini, an organization of highly respected researchers in the field of toxicology. Dr. Legator was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. These included the Alexander Hollaender Award for outstanding contributions in the application of the principles and techniques of environmental mutagenesis to the protection of human health from the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. He also received the Environmental Health Network National Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the fields of toxicology and public education, a US Environmental Protection Agency Certificate of Award and an Award of Merit from the Food and Drug Administration. He was an author of over 200 scientific papers and books and served as the Editor of Teratogenesis, Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis. He also served on the Editorial Boards of several journals including Toxicology and Industrial Health and Environmental Mutagenesis.

Marvin was a tireless champion for individuals and communities that were affected by preventable exposures to hazardous agents in their environments. He assisted many communities in correcting environmental exposure problems. He also assisted numerous individuals injured by toxic exposures by offering expert testimony in the legal arena. He was responsible for the training and development of many professional environmental toxicologists.

He is preceded in death by his parents Ada Okner Legator and Louis Nathan Legator. He will be missed and remembered by his devoted wife Donna, his children Alice, Lori and Kim and his grandchildren Lark, Mikel, Andoni, Kimberly and Michelle. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law Eleanor and Franklin Simon, niece Nita Barfhefsky and her husband Alvin and nephew Stuart Simon and wife Rhonda.