Iconic Howard Medical Faculty Member LaSalle Leffall Dies

Long-serving Howard University faculty member and pioneering medical figure LaSalle Leffall died last week. He was 89.

Dr. Leffall served as chairman of Howard’s Department of Surgery for more than 25 years. In a letter to the campus community, university president Wayne A.I. Frederick praised the Florida A&M University alumnus for a life and career as a “true son of Howard and a loyal exemplar of the University’s motto: “Truth and Service.”

According to Dr. Frederick, Dr. Leffall was the first African American to serve as national president of the American Cancer Society and the first to lead a variety of national surgeon associations where he spearheaded advocacy for equitable cancer treatments and innovations in care for African American cancer survivors.

His legacy includes teaching and mentoring for more than 6,000 medical students hundreds of surgical residents, according to the president.