JULIUS AXELROD

May 30, 1912–29 December 29, 2004

BY SOLOMON H. SNYDER



ON THE MORNING OF Wednesday, December 29, 2004, I was visiting the offices of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., handling some editorial chores and staring repeatedly at my watch. Whenever in Washington for a morning meeting, I would try to get away early to visit either my father, who lives in nearby Rockville, Maryland, or my mentor Julie Axelrod, who lived only a few miles away from my father’s home. I had decided that day to call Julie for a lunch date when my cell phone rang with a message from my secretary that Julie had died early that morning. He had evidently arisen from bed and collapsed of a heart attack. Till the day of his death, Julie had been alert, visiting his office at the National Institutes of Health several times a week to keep up with the literature and chat with colleagues. He had even flown to Wisconsin to visit his grandchildren just a week prior to his death. In keeping with Jewish tradition, Julie’s funeral was held two days following his death. In keeping with Julie’s own resistance to fuss and religious dogma, no rabbi was present nor were there any eulogies. Instead, a few longtime friends, including a high school classmate, provided warm reminiscences.



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