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In Memory of
Lee M> Hershenson
October 15, 1927 - November 19, 2015

Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa 15213

Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa 15213

West View Cemetery - Pittsburgh, Pa

Obituary: Dr. Lee M. Hershenson / Physician and photographer

Oct. 15, 1927 to Nov. 19, 2015
November 22, 2015 12:54 AM

Dr. Lee M. Hershenson

Dr. Lee Hershenson, a man of science and art, died Thursday of natural causes at his Squirrel Hill home. He was 88.
A physician for five decades, Dr. Hershenson was a gastroenterologist who taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and served as president of the UPMC Shadyside medical staff during his career.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he graduated from then-Taylor Allderdice High School at 16 in 1944. He went on to complete an accelerated undergraduate degree program at the University of Pittsburgh in 1946. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine at 22 inn 1949.
Following hospital residencies in Philadelphia and Chicago, Dr. Hershenson served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
He later returned to Pittsburgh and joined his father’s gastroenterology practice.
In addition to being a physician, Dr. Hershenson had a lifelong love of photography and was a distinguished and award-winning photographer and classical music lover, his children said.
'He didn’t just take pictures,' said his son Tom Hershenson of Washington, D.C. 'He learned how to manually develop film with the tools you had to use and how to make large prints.
'Photography was more than just a hobby for him, it was an artistic endeavor he pursued with great vigor and the same exacting attention to detail that he brought to his work as a physician.'
Dr. Hershenson had solo photography exhibits at the Scaife Galleries and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. His work was among 172 selected winners of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh’s 88th annual in 1998 at the Heinz Galleries of Carnegie Museum of Art. His work included assembled head shots of attorneys, rabbis, doctors and firefighters.
The striking portraits were displayed side by side 'with no indication of which individual belonged to which of those professions, just showing people as people,' Tom Hershenson said.
Matt Hershenson of Los Altos, Calif., recalled how his father took lots of vacation photos and could shoot seven rolls of film from a weeklong trip. His father’s artistic photography, however, first focused on bridges.
'I learned from him that Allegheny County had more bridges than any county in the country,' he said.
Later, Dr. Hershenson’s artistic photography focused on portraits. He did a self portrait, 'Memento doloris,' that was part of the 'Self Portrait: Silver Eye at 30' exhibit in 2009. In the self portrait, Dr. Hershenson, a cancer survivor, wears the mask he had to wear while receiving radiation treatment for salivary gland cancer.
'He saw it as artistically interesting,' Matt Hershenson said.
Sarah Hershenson of Brooklyn, N.Y., said she is an artist because her father was an artist, as well as a physician.
'As a doctor, he actually had a unique way of looking at people,' she said. 'When he saw a patient, whether they were a firefighter or a surgeon or a beautician or a lawyer, he looked at them all the same. He focused on their faces and expressions...looking at them as equals and trying to cure their disease.'
Dr. Hershenson, who also had a musical side, played clarinet in his high school marching band. He enjoyed the symphony and was a lifelong supporter of Chamber Music Pittsburgh.
'Classical music was one of the passions and joys of his life,' his daughter said.
Other survivors include his wife of 51 years, Susan Safier Hershenson of Squirrel Hill, and five grandchildren.
The funeral is at Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Ave. at 2 p.m. today. Visitation will be one hour prior to services. Interment will be in West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. Contributions may be made to Chamber Music Pittsburgh, 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Pittsburgh 15213 or a charity of one’s choice. Ralph Schugar Chapel Inc. is handling arrangements.