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In Memoriam

David Cowen, Retired Faculty, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, died on April 14, 2006. Professor Emeritus Cowen was a member of the Pharmacy. Professor Emeritus Cowen was an alumnus of the Graduate School, Rutgers Class of 1931.

Memorial arrangements are pending. For additional information, contact Dr. Bruce R. Cowen at 732-549-1904 or e-mail

Born in New York City September 1, 1909, he grew up in Newark, N.J., where he attended the public schools. He received his bachelor's degree in1930 and his master's degree in 1931, both from Rutgers, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 1984.

He was married to the former Mae Wisokolsky from 1933 until her death in 1961, and to the former Florence Weisberg from 1972 until her death in 1988. His home from 1972 until his passing was in Rossmoor, Monroe Township, N.J.

While teaching in the Newark public schools from 1933 to 1944, he concurrently began his faculty career at Rutgers as an instructor of history at the Rutgers College of Pharmacy, now the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. He joined the full-time university faculty in 1945, rising to the rank of full professor in 1960. He served as chair of the department of history and political science from 1945 to 1964 and of the department of history from 1965 until his retirement in1974.

At Rutgers, he received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1961 and the Rutgers Medal in 1974. With retired Merck and Co. executive William Helfand, he co-wrote “Pharmacy: An Illustrated History,”
published in 1990. In 1991, Cowen and the late Roy Bowers, former dean of Rutgers’ College of Pharmacy, co-authored “Rutgers University College of Pharmacy: A Centennial History.” He served on the councils of the American Association for the History of Medicine, the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and the International Society for the History of Pharmacy. He chaired the Council of the Institute of Pharmacy for 10 years. In his honor, the Medical History Society of New Jersey established the David L. Cowen Award for Achievement in Medical History.

Cowen is survived by his son, Dr. Bruce R. Cowen, and daughter-in-law Flora Buchbinder Cowen of Edison; stepdaughters, Joan Jay of Livingston and Liz Kupperman of Great Barrington, Mass.; and Susan Rinsky of Cupertino, Calif.

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