Clinton appointee to the National Cancer Advisory Board Dr. Susan Love dies at 75

 July 4, 2023

The New York Times reported that longtime surgeon and breast cancer advocate Dr. Susan Love passed away this week at the age of 75 following a battle with leukemia.

The paper noted that Love gained national prominence in 1998 when she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the National Cancer Advisory Board.

From a convent to medical school

Born in New Jersey, Love spent much of her childhood growing up in Puerto Rico and Mexico where her father worked in sales for an industrial manufacturer.

Love began pursuing her bachelor's degree at College of Notre Dame of Maryland and briefly spent time at a convent in New York City before graduating from Fordham University.

She went on to earn her medical degree at Downstate College of Medicine and completed her surgical residency at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital.

Love would become an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Harvard in 1987, one year before she founded the Faulkner Breast Center in Boston.

Surgeon, author, and activist

From there, Love went to Los Angeles where she joined the David Geffen School of Medicine and established and directed the U.C.L.A. Breast Center, which is now known as the Revlon/U.C.L.A. Breast Center.

However, the Times noted how Love's leadership at the center was marked by controversy, with some colleagues believing that she devoted too much time to media interviews and public appearances.

She also authored several books, including "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book," "Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book," and "Live a Little!: Breaking the Rules Won't Break Your Health."

Love is survived by her wife, Dr. Helen Sperry Cooksey. The pair made headlines in 1993 when they became the first gay couple to adopt a child, Katie Patton-LoveCooksey.

Love praised for "her compassion, and her laughter"

Love's passing was noted by the Dr. Love Foundation, a breast cancer research organization which she founded almost three decades ago.

Tributes to Love quickly appeared on social media, including from the National Breast Cancer Coalition, which tweeted, "We will miss her irreverence, her ability to lead us down paths we never even envisioned, her compassion, and her laughter."

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