Ronald Mark Davis

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 19 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2643

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Douglas Kamerow, chief scientist, RTI International, and associate editor, BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}

    Life long crusader against smoking and founding editor of the journal Tobacco Control

    Medicine and public health in the United States are separate worlds, with different organisations, publications, and leaders. Ron Davis bridged that gap in a way that no other doctor has, bringing the population perspective of public health and preventive medicine to the house of medicine. Ron entered medical school at the University of Chicago after college at the University of Michigan, and here began a long connection with the American Medical Association (AMA). He was elected president of the medical student section, and even as the most junior trustee, Ron spoke up for health promotion and disease prevention, focusing especially on tobacco control and prevention.

    After training in epidemiology and preventive medicine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ron became the director of the organisation’s new office of smoking and health in 1987. Here he worked with the surgeon general, Charles Koop, to issue three important reports. Ron’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the science and history of advertising of tobacco, combined with his ready wit and humour, made him an effective public health advocate and a popular speaker at events—from scientific meetings to public forums …

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