In Remembrance of Dr. Ronald L. Levine
A beloved colleague and friend, Dr. Ronald L. Levine, passed away on October 15, 2023, at the age of 94. He was born and raised in Queens, New York, and graduated from the University of Denver in 1951. During the Korean War, he worked at Fort Knox in the Army Medical Research Lab. He earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1959 and practiced as a family practitioner in Pleasure Ridge Park for many years. During that time, he sometimes worked as a boxing ring physician, treating legends like Muhammed Ali.
Dr. Levine served the AAGL and the field of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery (MIGS) in many ways in his 50 years of membership. He was President from 1997-1998, participated in many committees, and served as Chair on many postgraduate courses. He was well known for his role in establishing the laparoscopic approach for hysterectomies and throughout the world as an advocate of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and of the AAGL.
In 1984, he championed Pelviscopy and introduced the first fresh cadaver course on advanced laparoscopy at the Global Congress. He also brilliantly founded the AAGL’s Annual Workshop on MIGS and Laparoscopic Hysterectomy, which has been training residents on retroperitoneal anatomy, dissection techniques, and more, for the last 23 years. In this time, over one thousand physicians from 42 countries attended this workshop.
Dr. Levine served as a historian of the AAGL and co-authored a beautiful summary covering the years 2001-2017, which was then published in JMIG and now serves as a historical record for the AAGL. Due to these tremendous contributions to the field of MIGS and to the AAGL, he was recognized as an Honorary Chair in 2003 and in 2022, Dr. Levine was awarded one of the AAGL’s most distinguished honors, Honorary Member.
In addition, Dr. Levine worked in private OB/GYN practice for 30 years, served as the Chairman of the Medical Committee of the Southeast Region of Planned Parenthood, was President of the Alumni Association Board of the University of Louisiana’s School of Medicine, the Louisville OB/GYN Society, and of the medical staff of Jewish Hospital, as well as Chairman of OB/GYN at St. Anthony Hospital. He co-authored five books, wrote 16 book chapters, and published 34 articles.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 68 years, Sonia Cohen Levine, with whom he enjoyed traveling throughout the world. He is also survived by his daughter, Stacy Orenstein, and her children with Josh, Jana (Sam Gerold) and Zev (Lindsey); his son Glenn Levine (Marci) and their children Jordyn and Daniel; sister-in-law Martha; and his daughter-in-law Karen Levine. He is preceded in death by his parents Nathan and Frances Levine; his brother Harvey Levine; and his beloved son Howard Levine.
Dr. Levine’s contributions to our field are profound. He has influenced and inspired generations of young MIG surgeons and in turn has had a vast impact on the healthcare of women throughout the world. As a cherished mentor, colleague, and friend to many, he will be dearly missed.
The Levine family has asked that those wanting to make a donation in Dr. Levine’s name may do so to the Foundation of the AAGL. To give to the development of the Ronald Levine Fund, please visit the FAAGL website.