Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William Harold Fishman (1914-2001)

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William Harold Fishman
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Medical researcher.

Born at Winnipeg on 2 March 1914, son of Abraham B. Fishman and Goldie Chmelnitsky, his childhood was spent in Winnipeg and Minnedosa, graduating in 1931 from the Minnedosa Collegiate, then he attended the University of Saskatchewan (BSc Chemistry, 1935) and the University of Toronto (PhD Biochemistry, 1939). After his marriage to Lillian Waterman (1915-2013), he moved to the University of Edinburgh, staying there until 1940 when he found work at the Medical College of Cornell University. The following year, he took up a position at the Bowman-Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, moving to the University of Chicago in 1945.

In 1948, he became Scientific Director of the Tufts Cancer Reearch and Cancer Control Unit at Tufts University. He retired from Tufts in 1975 and moved to La Jolla, California where he founded the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation. He served as President of the Foundation until 1989 then contined as an emeritus member of the board of trustees. The Foundation became the Burnham Institute in 1996 and he remained as its President Emeritus and trustee until his death.

He died on 25 January 2001. A collection of his papers is held at the University of California (San Diego).


La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation: The Miracle on Torrey Pines Mesa by W. H. Fishman, La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, 1995.

Biographical History, Lillian W. and William H. Fishman Papers, 1937-2006, Geisel Library, University of California (San Diego).

We thank Joel Fishman for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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