About 'Bud' Benenson
The Benenson Distinguished Lecture series honors Abram Salmon Benenson,
MD. Bud, as he was known since childhood, spent his life dedicated to
two passions - his family and his medical career.
Abram 'Bud' Benenson, MD
After graduating from Cornell Medical School in 1937 and completion of
an internship, Bud worked in various settings fighting such disparate
communicable diseases as smallpox, cholera, and AIDS. From 1970 to
1995, Bud was the editor of six editions of Control of Communicable
Diseases in Man (CCDM), his "little handbook" that has been published by
the American Public Health Association since 1915. He was most proud of
the pirated editions of the book that found their way back to him -
written in Chinese or Arabic; they showed him that the world valued his
contribution and desperately needed the information he worked so
diligently to provide.
In 1982, Dr. Benenson joined the faculty of the San Diego State
University Graduate School of Public Health as Head, Division of
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a position he held until 1992, at which
time he became Professor Emeritus and maintained a full schedule,
including advising students with their theses. He also played a
critical role in establishing the Public Health doctoral program with
concentration in Epidemiology, offered jointly by San Diego State
University and the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Benenson received many awards in his lifetime, including the Legion
of Merit; the Meritorious Civilian Award; the John Snow Award and the
Award for Excellence, both from the American Public Health Association;
and the K.F. Meyer Gold-Headed Cane Award from the American Veterinary
Epidemiology Society. Bud was pleased with the awards he received; they
validated his hard work and allowed his friends and family to share his
He was the author or co-author of over 140 scholarly papers in the
fields of preventive medicine, epidemiology, and communicable diseases.
His early work focused on the diarrheal diseases and smallpox, while his
later research dealt more with AIDS.
Four children and seven grandchildren, and a new great-grandchild
survive Bud and his wife, Regina van Aalten Benenson: twins Mike and
Tom, James, and Sonia, and their children.
The first Benenson lecture was delivered in 2007 in conjunction with the
25th anniversary of the SDSU GSPH. The second and subsequent lectures
will be connected to the San Diego Epi Exchange. The Benenson
Distinguished Lecture series highlights those areas most important to
Bud - preventive medicine, military medicine, and "shoe-leather"