Harold Sandler, M.D.

Nov. 24, 1929 – Sep. 27, 2018

Harold Sandler passed away peacefully on September 27, 2018 in Seattle. He was surrounded by the love of his family.

Born in 1929, Hal was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio; where he obtained undergraduate degrees in chemistry and math from the University of Cincinnati in 1951. He continued his studies at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, graduating with a degree in Internal Medicine in 1955.

Upon graduation, Hal moved west to complete his medical residency at the University of Washington. There, he met the love of his life, Norma Joan Holloway – a nurse. They were married on April 16, 1961. Joan predeceased Hal on April 13, 2018.

Soon after Joan and Hal were married, Hal was drafted into the Navy, where he began his career in aerospace medical research. Following his tour of duty, he accepted a position at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Moffet Field’s Ames Research Center in California. He quickly rose to Chief of NASA’s Biomedical Research Division.

At NASA, Hal participated in studies regarding weightlessness and its effects during real and simulated space flight. Many of these studies were conducted with international partners, including the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and other European countries. Of his research at NASA, his work on the Biocosmos or COSMOS flights 1514 and 1667 are most notable.

Hal’s exhaustive research findings from the 1960’s and 1970’s are still current. His discoveries on left ventricular heart functions guide how cardiologists perform heart catheterizations – a procedure that is performed daily.

Hal believed very strongly in the principal of “we are one” and was a founding member of Project Survival and Beyond War. He was an active participant in International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and its US affiliate, Physicians for Social Responsibility. IPPNW received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

Never one to be idle, Hal spent the last 29 years in retirement on Bainbridge Island, WA consulting, playing duplicate bridge, making Tiffany stained glass lamps, and studying history. His Monday class on the Presidents at the Bainbridge Senior Center will be greatly missed.

Hal is survived by his two children, Beth (James) Dunn of Richmond, CA, and Margaret Sandler of Bainbridge Island, WA, and four grandchildren: Catherine, Madeleine, and Lucy Dunn and Olivia Sandler.

While Hal received numerous academic, government, and professional appointments, awards and honors throughout his life, he always felt his biggest accomplishment was his family.

A celebration of Hal’s life was held Sunday, November 25th at the Bainbridge Island Senior Center.