• Kevin Hessel

Robert Benton Jaffe , MD


Robert Benton Jaffe, MD, an internationally renowned physician, died peacefully at his home on June 22, 2020, in Tiburon, Calif., where he lived for 48 years. A true renaissance man, his personal and professional accomplishments were woven into the fabric of life in the Bay Area.

Bob was born in Detroit, Mich., on February 18, 1933, to Jacob Jaffe, MD and Shirley (Sally) Robins Jaffe. He lived in Detroit for 17 years before attending the University of Michigan, where he earned his MD. He met his lifelong companion and love of his life, Evelyn (Evie) Grossman, in high school, whom he married in 1954. Their son, Glenn, was born in1957, followed by their daughter, Terri, in 1960.

Robert was an obstetrics and gynocology intern and resident at the University of Colorado, where he also earned a Master of Science degree. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in 1963. From 1964-1973, he was a University of Michigan faculty member. He quickly rose from assistant professor to professor of OB-GYN before joining the UCSF OB-GYN Department as chairman and built the department into the top program in the country. In almost twenty years, the only day he missed work was the Monday after one staff picnic when he had been hit by a baseball at the annual staff game. After he stepped down as chairman after 22 years, Bob continued to work every day for the department for 16 more years.

Bob was an international icon in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, with remarkable career achievements for which he won numerous distinguished awards. He was an amazing educator and mentor. In his own words, “My greatest joy is to see some of my more than 70 postdoctoral fellows and 82 Reproductive Scientist Development Program scholars having such productive careers, and this fills me with great satisfaction.”

Dr. Jaffe lived a full life with many and varied interests. He was an avid reader and loved to watch and participate in sports. He was passionately committed to the arts, and was an enthusiastic patron of the San Francisco Ballet, the Mill Valley Chamber Music Society and San Francisco Performances.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Stuart Jaffe, and is survived by his wife, Evie, of almost 66 years of marriage; his son and daughter-in-law, Drs. Glenn Jaffe and Linda Van Le; his daughter, Terri Lynne Jaffe, and three grandchildren, Aliya, Stephanie, and Michael.

An intimate graveside service was held at Hills of Eternity Memorial Park on June 28, 2020.

Robert B. Jaffe, MD was truly a “Man for the Ages.” He will be lovingly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues all over the world.

Donations may be made to the Robert Jaffe Innovative Research Fund at UCSF at https://giving.ucsf.edu or UCSF Foundation, P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339, or to the

Belvedere-Tiburon Library Foundation Expansion Fund in memory of Robert B. Jaffe, MD, P.O. Box 483, Tiburon, CA, 94920.

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