Gov. Brown Salutes Centenarian for Strong Work Ethic

By Juliana Bunim

Ephraim Engleman, MD, turned 100 on March 24, and Governor Jerry Brown’s proclamation celebrating his birthday is just the latest of a long roster of his life’s accomplishments.

Engleman joined the UCSF faculty in 1948 as the first director of the Clinic for Arthritis and remains a clinical professor of medicine and director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis at UCSF.

He's received the UCSF Medal – the highest honor bestowed by the University and was awarded the Presidential Gold Medal Award of the American College of Rheumatology – the highest honor in the field of rheumatology.

Gov. Brown’s proclamation in recognition of Engleman's century-long life celebrates him as "a model of longevity and strong work ethic." Brown recalled his own first two terms as the state's 34th governor, from 1975 to 1983, when Engleman led the National Commission on Arthritis – a task force that sought to fix the inadequate status of arthritis research, teaching and patient care in the United States. His work resulted in what is now the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

"He has contributed a lifetime to medicine and as one of the founders of the modern practice of rheumatology," Brown stated.

A native of San Jose, California, Engleman had a brief career as a professional musician before and during his undergraduate years at Stanford University. He continues to study and perform piano and violin throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His legacy in music is exemplified through the two Stradivarius violins that bear his name.

Engleman – who earned an MD degree from Columbia University and served his medical residencies at UCSF and Tufts University – has authored more than 100 publications.

He is past president of the American Rheumatism Association – now the American College of Rheumatology –and the National Society of Clinical Rheumatology.

And as a Centenarian, Engleman has no plans to retire, seeing patients three times a week. But one of his greatest accomplishments is his marriage to his wife Jean for the past 70 years. They have three children, six grandchildren and two great grandsons.

In a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Engleman talked about his family and cited his 10 commandments for a long life. The top three on that list are:

  • Be sure to select parents with the right genes.
  • Choose the right spouse. Encourage sex. Children are optional.
  • Enjoy your work, whatever it is, or don't do it.

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