Issue Date: November 12, 2012
Milton Heller, 91, a retired Lederle Laboratories chemist from New City, N.Y., died on Sept. 22.
Raised in Kearny, N.J., Heller earned a B.S. in chemistry at the University of Michigan in 1942. In the midst of World War II, he began working for DuPont at an explosives plant in Alabama before joining the Navy, completing his wartime service as an engineering officer on a submarine chaser.
After the war, Heller returned to the University of Michigan, where he earned an M.S. in organic chemistry in 1947 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1951 under Werner Emmanuel Bachmann and André S. Dreiding.
Heller spent most of his career as a researcher with Lederle in Pearl River, N.Y. He participated in the synthesis of the steroid triamcinolone, leading to the development of Aristocort aerosol and cream and related products. Later, he supervised clinical trials of cancer drugs for American Cyanamid.
He was awarded 16 patents and published 42 peer-reviewed papers, mainly in the area of steroid chemistry.
Heller was a member of the board of education for what is now the East Ramapo Central School District; he served as its president in the 1960s and supervised the planning and construction of more than a dozen new schools. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1949.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; sons, Douglas and David; daughters, Jeri and Suzanne Hiatt; and eight grandchildren.
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