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Farewell to Two Leaders

Melvin D. Yahr, M.D. 1917-2004

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation reports with sadness the death of Dr. Melvin D. Yahr, for decades a leading presence in the field of neurology and Parkinson's science. In the 1960's, Dr. Yahr served as the foundations first Scientific Director and he remained a friend throughout his long and brilliant career. Among his many contributions to Parkinson's research, he led the first double-blind clinical trial of levodopa. With Dr. Margaret Hoehn, he developed clinical criteria that are still used today for evaluating the severity of the disease. In the William Black Building at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center he developed laboratories for a vigorous basic science approach to understanding how the disease arises. He established the first NIH-supported Parkinson's Disease Research and Education Center, and a research group for the World Federation of Neurology. He was awarded the coveted James Parkinson Medal by the Foundation on the occasion of its 30th anniversary in 1987. Since 1974, he continued his illustrious career at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and as an international leader for Parkinson's.

Salvatore Esposito 1931 - 2003

Native Staten Islander, Salvatore J. Esposito, Jr., a business owner, community leader and member of the founding family of the American Parkinson's Disease Foundation (APDA) died in August 2003. Throughout his life, Mr. Esposito was heavily involved in political, business and charitable organizations on Staten Island but the organization dearest to his heart was the APDA which his family began in 1961. Mr. Esposito, who was serving APDA as Secretary at the time of his death, was a past national president of the organization and a lifelong generous contributor.

Sal was known well, and will be remembered with respect and affection by PDF staff and Board members. The Parkinson's community has lost a productive and devoted leader.