Dr. David Sanders Howell ’45, an internationally recognized researcher of osteoarthritis, died on March 11, 2009, in Bossier City, Louisiana.
He was born on October 4, 1923, in Montclair, N.J., and prepared for college at Asheville (N.C.) School for Boys (now called the Asheville School). He studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1941 to 1944 and transferred to Bowdoin for his senior year. A member of Chi Psi fraternity, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bowdoin and went on to graduate from Harvard Medical School in 1947. He did his residency at Rhode Island and completed post-doctoral studies in biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health and in rheumatology at Columbia University. He served as professor of medicine and chairman of rheumatology at the University of Miami and was an active researcher for 42 years. In 1955, he became the first director of the Division of Rheumatology at Miami. He also spent several years in the early 1960s at the Nobel Institute in Stockholm as a Markle Foundation Fellow. He authored more than 300 papers and abstracts and contributed more than 100 chapters to every major English language textbook and symposium that dealt with osteoarthritis. He was co-editor of Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism and served on the editorial boards of four other national and international rheumatology and orthopedic journals. Widely recognized for his work, he received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the University of Umea, Sweden, in 1977; the Geigy International Research Prize in Rheumatology in 1981; the Biological Mineralization Scientific Award in International Dental Research in 1988; and the University of Miami Distinguished Faculty Scholar award in 1994. He spent much of his childhood in West Boothbay Harbor, where he developed a love for sailing and marine art. He was a professional member of the International Society of Marine Painters and published the book Seascapes for his family, friends and colleagues in 2004. He is survived by a daughter, Linda Lee Howell; two, sons David S. Howell Jr. and Walter W. Howell; one grandson; and two granddaughters.