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A Tribute to Dr. Leon Root

Last Updated:
September 22, 2015

Leon Root, MD
September 21, 2015

A Tribute to Dr. Leon Root

On behalf of
Todd Albert, MD and Lou Shapiro from the Hospital of Special Surgery…

Dear Colleagues,

We regret to report that Dr Leon Root passed away peacefully this morning.

Dr Root considered himself as an orthopedic family doctor who cared for patients from childhood through their adulthood, but the rest of us recognized him as one of the nation’s foremost specialists in pediatric orthopedics. His contributions to patient care, medical education and research were extraordinary.  During his 27-year tenure as Chief of Pediatric Orthopedics at HSS, he established New York City’s first clinic for children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, founded New York State’s first Pediatric Orthopedic Outreach Program, and expanded the Hospital’s Cerebral Palsy Clinic.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Root attended Rutgers University on a War Memorial Scholarship.  There, he excelled scholastically as well as on the football field.  Not only was this scholar athlete a member of the honor society, but he also was captain of the Rutgers football team and voted “Outstanding Lineman” in his junior and senior years.

Interested in medicine since boyhood, he went on to attend New York Medical College on a partial scholarship and later interned as a general practitioner at New Jersey’s Beth Israel Hospital.  From there, he went into the U.S. Navy where his interest in orthopedics developed. 

Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy, he did his residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, NJ followed by a one-year fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery. He has been a cornerstone of the HSS staff since joining in 1967.

Dr Root’s many other accomplishments and contributions include serving as President of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, and authoring books that received wide acclaim.  

On behalf of the HSS Family, we extend our greatest sympathies and appreciation to Dr Root’s wife Paula, their children Matthew and Lillian, and their four grandchildren.

Information about funeral arrangements will be shared when available.  

We honor Dr Root's extraordinary legacy of selfless care and character as an obligation to the communities and Hospital we serve.