Oct 19, 2013

Cesare Lombroso, MD, PhD

2013 *Past President, Lennox Award Recipient, & Research Recognition Award Recipient

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Dr.Lombroso memoriumDedicated physician and AES leader will be missed.

Dr. Lombroso was a dedicated physician who trained many doctors in his over 50 year career in medicine and was renowned for his ability to handle the most difficult cases of epilepsy. Dr. Lombroso passed away peacefully on October 19, 2013 at his home surrounded by family.

Dr. Lombroso was born in Rome, Italy, to a distinguished family that included numerous scientists and authors, many of whom achieved international recognition for their work. He received his M.D. degree in 1946 from the University of Genoa and then, in 1950, his Ph.D. degree from the University of Rome. Later that year, Dr. Lombroso began his long association with Harvard and The Children's Hospital and, in 1962, he succeeded Dr. William G. Lennox as Chief of the Seizure Unit and EEG Laboratory at Children's Hospital, positions he held until he retired from the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1988. Believing, as did Dr. Lennox, that children with seizures do best when they are treated in a center that can address simultaneously the multiple interacting medical, psychosocial, behavioral and family issues that impact on their lives, Dr. Lombroso succeeded in making the Seizure Unit at Children's Hospital a preeminent center for both treatment and clinical investigation. There is scarcely an area of pediatric epileptology that has not been influenced by Dr. Lombroso's contributions. He pioneered the concept that febrile seizures are usually benign and often do not require treatment. His studies of infantile spasms and other epileptic encephalopathies, breathholding spells and infantile syncope, idiopathic partial seizures, and neonatal seizures were major original contributions that remain classics in the field.

In electroencephalography, Dr. Lombroso's work has hardly been less important. He helped define the normal paroxysmal changes that occur during drowsiness in children, clarified normal variants of EEG patterns that had previously been considered abnormal, and carried out systematic studies of EEG activity in newborns that helped make the EEG an indispensable diagnostic tool in hospital nurseries.

Dr. Lombroso was the president of AES in 1986-87. He received the Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award given by the Milken Family Foundation in 1990. He was one of the original founders of the William G. Lennox Fund in 1962 which was combined with assets of his own trust in 2007. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of AES for over 50 years. He was an ex-officio member of the board until recently. He will be greatly missed by both patients and professionals that he touched and came in contact with.

He was the beloved husband of the late Irena (Kister) Lombroso, devoted father of Claudia G.C. Lombroso of Newton, MA, Anna C. Lombroso and her husband William Glynn of Sherborn, MA, and Paul Lombroso and his wife Janice Naegele of North Haven, CT. He was the grandfather of Andrew and Amy Glynn, Christopher, Adam and Sonia Lombroso.


A Memorial Service is being planned for November 23 at Noon at Harvard University- The Memorial Church. If you are planning on attending Cesare Lombroso's Memorial Service, you may use this link as a locator for parking.

Contributions in his memory to Lennox and Lombroso Trust c/o The American Epilepsy Society (AES) 342 North Main Street Ste #301 West Hartford, CT 06117-2507 would be appreciated to support critical epilepsy research.