Dr. Edward Kupka, Leader in Tuberculosis Care, Dies

From Associated Press

Dr. Edward Kupka, an internationally recognized leader in the fight against tuberculosis, has died at the age of 84.

A native of Detroit, Kupka contracted tuberculosis but was cured at the Trudeau Sanatorium in Saranac Lake, N.Y., said his wife, Dorothea. After that, she said, he devoted his life to the study of the disease.

A graduate of Wayne State University Medical School, Kupka practiced general medicine in Detroit and then worked as director of tuberculosis hospitals in Los Angeles from 1939 to 1942. He also served as a researcher with the Forlanini Institute in Rome in 1938.

Assumes State Post


Kupka joined the California Department of Health in 1942 in the new position of tuberculosis controller.

An active member of the World Health Organization, Kupka treated refugees in Vietnam after the French defeat in 1954 and later established a hospital in Laos.

In the late 1950s, he traveled through Latin America promoting the latest in tuberculosis treatment.

“He didn’t say much about his opinions, but his life works were an impressive statement in themselves,” said Dr. Frank Hesse, Kupka’s assistant at the state health department in the early 1960s.


Selected for Medal

In 1966, the Tuberculosis and Health Assn. of California awarded Kupka a gold medal for meritorious service.

He served as associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of Southern California from 1940 to 1948 and as lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Public Health from 1950 to 1960.

Kupka is survived by his wife; two sons, Joseph of Melbourne and Stephen of Los Angeles; and a daughter, Katherine Kupka Morris of El Cerrito.


He died at his Berkeley home Nov. 15.