Your Columbians
Baruj Benacerraf

"Through work does one reach the stars!"

Baruj Benacerraf (1920–)
Columbia College, 1942

Dr. Benacerraf is a true renaissance man. An accomplished flutist and lover of music, an art collector, a businessman who directed a bank and textile factories, a medical doctor, a cancer and pathology researcher, a Nobel laureate, receiver of the National Medal of Science and countless other awards, and a father of one and grandfather of two. His family traces its roots back to Sephardic Jews in Spain, Algeria, and Morocco. He was born in Venezuela, educated partially in France, and he escaped the holocaust and came to Columbia during World War II, where he met his wife, a Barnard graduate. He served in the U.S. Army, entering as a private first class and leaving several years later as a captain, having served in the medical arm of the U.S. Army in France and Germany. He is a real testament to how one man can be a leader, a thinker, a doer, a soldier, an idealist, a loving family man, and an artist at the same time.

Submitted by Oliver Libby, who is solely responsible for the content.

Read more about this nominee in Columbians Ahead of Their Time.

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