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Robert J. Isaacson

July 12, 1932 ~ September 15, 2018 (age 86)

Dr. Robert J. Isaacson passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the age of 86 in Edina, Minnesota.  Bob was born in Flushing, New York on July 12, 1932 and grew up in New Jersey. He was a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota where he earned his BS, DDS, MSD, and PhD degrees from 1950 to 1962. He served as a Captain in the US Army from 1956-1958. In 1962, Bob joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in the Department of Orthodontics and became Chairman in 1965. He became the youngest full Professor at the University of Minnesota at that time. 

He married his beloved wife, Delores Eller Isaacson, on September 14, 1970, and it was obvious to all who knew them that they remained true soulmates to the end; they celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary the day before he passed.

In 1977, Bob and Delores moved to San Francisco where, as a full Professor he chaired the Department of Growth and Development at UCSF until 1987. From 1987 to 2000, Bob was Chair of the Department of Orthodontics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. When he retired in 2001, they returned to Minnesota, settling first in Edina, and finally in Wayzata.
Bob Isaacson was a world-renowned orthodontist, scholar, and educator. He was passionate about orthodontics. He lectured around the world and published over 500 scientific papers in prestigious research journals. He was named “Distinguished Practitioner in Dentistry” in 1995 by the National Academy of Practice.  He served as Editor-in-Chief of The Angle Orthodontist, one of the profession’s most distinguished journals, from 2000-2012 and was responsible for catapulting it into the digital era and giving readers free and open access to its contents. In 2002, he was recognized by the American Association of Orthodontists for his distinguished contributions and received the prestigious Albert H. Ketcham Award and in 2003 he was selected to give the John Valentine Mershon Lecture at the national American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) meeting.  As a teacher, his enthusiasm was infectious and he motivated his students to excel and make decisions based on the highest ethical and moral standards. In 2008 he received The University of Minnesota Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2009 the AAO Orthodontic Educational Leadership Conference held in Boston was named in his honor.

Bob was a devoted husband and father. He leaves behind his loving wife, Delores, daughters Catherine (Peter) Winge; Mary (Thomas) Klosowski; and son Robert (Karen). There are 7 grandchildren. Memorial gifts can be directed to: University of Minnesota Foundation, in memory of Dr. Robert J. Isaacson, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266.

Donations may be made to:

University of Minnesota Foundation
PO Box 860266, MInneapolis MN 55486-0266

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