Leon Goldman (1904–1975)

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Leon Goldman
Born(1904-02-14)February 14, 1904[1]
DiedMarch 4, 1975(1975-03-04) (aged 71)[1]
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BS)
University of California, San Francisco (MD)
SpouseBetty Rosenburg
Children3, including Dianne Feinstein
FamilyKatherine Feinstein (granddaughter)

Leon Goldman (February 14, 1904 – March 4, 1975) was an American surgeon.[2] Goldman was the father of Dianne Feinstein, the former mayor of San Francisco and a longtime member of the United States Senate from California.

Early life and education[edit]

Goldman was born to a Jewish family in 1904 in San Francisco, California, one of eleven children born to immigrants from Poland.[3] His father, Samuel Galleorivich, changed his name to Goldman[4] and worked in the oil industry.[3] Goldman was raised in Taft, California, where he graduated from Taft Union High School in 1922.[5] In 1926, he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.[3] In 1930, he graduated with an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, after which he did his post-doctoral studies under Howard Christian Naffziger.[3]


After the completion of his residency in 1935, he was appointed as instructor at San Francisco County Hospital where Harold Brunn was chief surgical resident.[3] In 1939, he earned a fellowship in gastrointestinal physiology with Andrew Ivey.[3] In 1939, he returned to work under Brunn.[3] In 1945, he was named associate professor and chief of surgical service.[3] In 1949, he was named full professor.[3] He was the first Jewish professor at the University of California-San Francisco medical school.[6] In 1953, he was named vice chairman of the Department of Surgery and chairman in 1956; also in 1956, he was named associate dean of the School of Medicine where he served until 1963.[2]

He served as president of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association and as first vice president of the American Surgical Association and the American College of Surgeons.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Goldman was married to Betty Rosenburg, a former model.[7] Her family was from Saint Petersburg, Russia;[7] and while they were of German-Jewish ancestry,[4] they practiced the Russian Orthodox faith, as was required for Jews residing in Saint Petersburg.[7][8] Goldman suffered from Crohn's disease.[3] His wife suffered from post-concussion syndrome.[4] He was affectionately known as the "Coach" by his students.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]". Ancestry.com. 2014. Retrieved 11 Nov 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Leon Goldman, M.D. (1904-1975)". University of California San Francisco Department of Surgery.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Blaisdell, MD, F. William (December 1, 2013). "Leon Goldman". JAMA.
  4. ^ a b c Kurt F. Stone (December 29, 2010). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Scarecrow Press. pp. 506–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7738-2.
  5. ^ Shearer, Jenny (October 20, 2006). "Feinstein visits 'roots'". Bakersfield.com.
  6. ^ Bovy, Phoebe Maltz (May 2, 2017). "Dianne Feinstein's Jewish Journey From Catholic School To The Senate". Jewish Daily Forward.
  7. ^ a b c Slater, Elinor; Slater, Robert (1994). Great Jewish Women. Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8246-0370-0. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  8. ^ "California". New West Communications Corporation. July 1984. Retrieved April 10, 2016.