Paul Actor, PhD (October 10, 2013)
Paul Actor passed away 10 October, 2013. He was born March 17, 1933 in New York City, and attended Hunter College where he majored in zoology, before receiving a Ph.D. in 1959 from Rutgers University specializing in parasitology and microbiology. His first employment, 1959-1963, was as a Senior Research Scientist at the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. He spent the major part of his long career, 27 years, at Smith Kline & French/SmithKlineBeecham Pharmaceuticals. While Director of Strategic Planning and Technology Evaluation at SKF he was responsible for the planning function for worldwide R&D and for the recommendation of new product and technology opportunities. While at SKF he developed several widely used antimicrobial and antiparasitic drugs and played a key role in developing four cephalosporins: cefonicid, ceftizoxime, cefazolin and cephradine; and held over 100 patents. He was also adjunct professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Temple University School of Medicine. After his retirement he worked the rest of his life as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. and internationally, and spent considerable time consulting for companies in Japan and South America. His main focus was to facilitate partnerships between academicians or small companies with larger pharmaceutical firms to help with mutually beneficial acquisitions to help market their products.
He became an ASM member in 1961 and had a long-time association with ASM, serving on many committees and was Councilor, as well as Chairperson, for Division A- Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. He was Chair of the Meetings Board from 1991 to 1994, and in that capacity also served as a member of the Council Policy Committee. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a member of several Industry and Parasitology organizations, as well a serving on many professional Editorial Boards. He was also a long-term active member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch, serving as Treasurer from 1987 to 1989, and President from 1989-91. He was on the Branch Executive Committee for over 20 years representing the pharmaceutical industry as well as organizing several of the Branch annual symposia.
Paul was not only dedicated to the field of microbiology; he was a pillar of his community and a role model to many. He was married for 58 years to his childhood sweetheart Ruthe Hoenig Actor, and was a devoted and proud father to his three children and seven grandchildren. Paul led by example and touched so many lives, all for the better – dedicated to his family and community. He was president of B’nai Jacob Synagogue in Phoenixville PA and served as a committee member of the B’nai Brith, and gave generously of his time as well as his financial support to a variety of charities. Paul was a lifetime champion of industrial microbiology; his death is a great loss to his family, his community, to the discipline of microbiology, and to the Eastern PA Branch of ASM.