A Remembrance of Gerald Weissmann from our Founding Publisher

I was quite intimidated by Gerry Weissmann, who was three years ahead of me when I became a resident on the New York University Medical Service in 1970. That feeling persisted, so it was with some trepidation, in 1992, that I asked him to suggest a publisher for a book I had just written (my first). The title was to be A User-Friendly Field Guide to the Subject of Acid-Base Disorders through the Magic of Ion Transport. While I held my breath, Gerry said, “Needs a better title . . . Acid and Basics,” and without missing a beat, he recommended an editor, who then bought my book to be published by Oxford University Press.

That was the beginning of a relationship that included, most importantly, his recommendation that I seek the help of Erika Goldman in finding a publisher for a novel based on the life of Lawrence J. Henderson. That meeting with Erika ultimately led to the creation of Bellevue Literary Press.

He was generous with his praise, when he felt it was warranted, and very supportive of my work. Just two weeks before he died, I consulted him for a reference to a quote by Lewis Thomas. He replied within an hour with both the answer and a Weissmannian quip.

His intelligence and wit will not be matched.

—Jerome Lowenstein