Dr. Israel J. Kligler, prominent American bacteriologist who has headed the Department of Hygiene and Bacteriology at the Hebrew University for several years, died suddenly last night from a heart attack suffered at his home in the settlement of Nathania. He was 55.
Dr. Kligler, who was born in Russia in 1889, emigrated to the United States as a youth and was educated at the City College of New York and Columbia University. He was on the staff of the American Museum of Natural History from 1911 to 1915 and was with the Rockefeller Institute from 1916 to 1920. He came to Palestine in 1921 where he had remained since except for occasional visits to the United States and service on various scientific commissions. He last visited the United States in 1942.
In Palestine Dr. Kligler pioneered in developing adequate medical facilities. After serving as chief of the Bacteriological Department of the Hadassah Medical Mission, he joined the staff of the Hebrew University. He was an expert on yellow fever and had been a member of malaria and yellow fever commission in Africa, Mexico, Peru and Palestine.
Under Dr. Kligler’s leadership, his department at the Hebrew University cooperated with United States and Allied military authorities in the Middle East in combatting epidemic diseases menacing Allied troops. In July, 1943, he was awarded the Golden Cross of Merit by the Polish Government-in-Exile for developing and testing on himself and his assistants an anti-typhus vaccine which saved the lives of Polish soldiers in Russia. Early this year he headed a mission sent from here by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to Aden to provide medical aid for refugees from Yemen stranded there.
Dr. Kligler is survived by a wife and son who are residing presently in New York.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.