Norman Breslow, founding scholar in UW Biostatistics, passes away at 74

December 14, 2015

The Department joins the Dean in his expression of sympathy and his recognition of Norm Breslow’s impact and legacy. Posted December 11, 2015 by the UW School of Public Health:

Dear SPH Faculty, Students, and Staff,

Dr. Norman Breslow, one of our great leaders, passed away December 9 after a long illness.  We send all our sympathy to his wife Gayle and their family.

Norm is clearly recognized as a founding scholar who has defined the modern field of biostatistics. Since the early 1970s, he made seminal contributions to statistical theory and its applications in epidemiology and the broader biosciences. He was a scientist with a lifelong dedication to both rigorous research methodology and to careful and reproducible application to advance medicine and public health. He was a founding member of the Wilms Tumor Study Group, dedicated to improving the treatment of this pediatric kidney cancer.

The legacy of Norm’s leadership is reflected by the large number of current academic leaders who have been influenced by him during his nearly 50-year commitment to training and mentoring future generations of scientists. He spent his entire career in Seattle, joining the University of Washington faculty in 1967, the department of Biostatistics in 1970, and subsequently chairing the department from 1983-93.  He was also a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and received the highest academic honors in the fields of statistics and medicine.

Information about memorial services will be available in the near future.  Norm hoped that any memorial contributions would go toward the recently created Norman Breslow Endowed Professorship in Biostatistics.


Howard Frumkin, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Dean, School of Public Health
University of Washington