I am saddened to inform the orthodontic community of the passing of my dad, Dr. Alexander Samuels, on May 21, 2020 of natural causes, peacefully, in his own apartment at the age of 93.
My father practiced orthodontics for more than 60 years in Queens, New York. He loved his profession. He attended NYU as an undergraduate as well as NYU College of Dentistry’s accelerated program (due to WW2) and graduated in 1948 at the age of 21. He did his residency at Grasslands Hospital (now Westchester Medical Center University Hospital) in Valhalla, NY. He practiced general dentistry in Manhattan until completing his certificate in orthodontics in 1955 when he opened his orthodontic office in Bayside, Queens. I joined him in practice in 1988.
He was an active member of organized dentistry, and served as President of the Queens County Dental Society, General Chairman of GLIDM, and President of the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists. He was the recipient of the QCDS’s Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and NESO’s Distinguished Service Award in 1996.
He was at the forefront of orthodontics – doing research at Columbia University in 1967 on “Use of Computers in Orthodontic Diagnosis and Treatment Planning.”
For more than 15 years, he volunteered his orthodontic services to underprivileged children at the Northern Dispensary in Manhattan. He was a superb teacher and his didactic ability was well enforced by his consummate skill as a meticulous clinician. Throughout his career, he taught orthodontics at Booth Memorial Hospital (now New York Presbyterian Queens Medical Center), Fairleigh Dickenson University, NYU College of Dentistry, and St. Barnabus Hospital. He touched and influenced so many colleagues that at least one person at every meeting I attend will relate a story.
He is survived by my brothers, Michael (Janie) Samuels, Mark Samuels, grandchildren Jeffrey and Craig Samuels, and me (and my husband, Richard).
My father was very proud of our Romaniote Greek Heritage and we ask that any donations in his memory be made to the Kehila Kedosha Janina (280 Broome Street, New York, NY 10002) or through their website: www.kkjsm.org.
Every little girl thinks her father is wonderful – and my case is no different. I had the great privilege of spending most of my professional career initially under his guidance and tutelage and later as a colleague. Alex Samuels, the ultimate orthodontist – a kind, gentle, modest and soft-spoken gentleman who was devoted to his family and his profession. His humanity and compassion will be dearly missed by his family, friends, patients, and colleagues.
Risa Samuels, DDS
NESO Past President