Ralph A. Jessar, Rheumatology

ralph jesser

Ralph A. Jessar, a retired assistant clinical professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and former chief of rheumatology at Graduate Hospital, died on April 15. He was 93 years old.

Dr. Jessar was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Central High School. He earned his bachelor of science in 1943 from Penn’s College of Arts & Sciences. He earned his MD in 1946 and GMD in 1947 from what is now Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. He served in the US Navy as a lieutenant, junior grade.

Dr. Jessar returned to Penn in 1953 as a research fellow in rheumatology. In 1954, he joined the teaching staff as an instructor. He was promoted to associate in medicine in 1956, then to assistant professor of medicine in 1962. He was appointed assistant professor of clinical medicine in 1971. As a rheumatologist, Dr. Jessar was a member of the research team that developed the use of corticosteroid injections for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. He also served as chief of rheumatology at Graduate Hospital before retiring from Penn in 1986.

Dr. Jessar is survived by his wife, Gayle; his children, Hilary Schaper (Reed Schaper), Todd Jessar, Jamie Jessar (Robert Dann), Kevin Jessar (Nancy Siegel); six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Contributions may be made in Dr. Jessar’s memory to Holisticare Hospice, 1131 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 200, Berwyn, PA 19312.