My father, Dr. David M. French, is in the final hours of his life, at University of Virginia Hospital, in Charlottesville. Dad was a founder of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, which played an instrumental role in the U.S. Civil Rights movement, dealing with the LBJ White House to gain Federal protection for marchers in the South, and with my mother, the late Carolyn H. French, providing medical care for participants during the great marches. He worked for Edward Kennedy and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to investigate American bombing of civilian targets in Vietnam during the war. He was a pioneer in developing public health policies and primary care services in 20 African countries, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Earlier in his career, as a pediatric cardiac surgeon he did a lot of the basic early research in open heart surgery and heart transplantation. He never stopped growing, and this has always been a source of great pride and inspiration. For all who knew him, please spare a thought or a prayer.
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