Lives Lived

Ralph Knopf, M.D.

Fall 2020
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Ralph Knopf

Ralph Knopf (M.D. 1954, Residency 1959, Fellowship 1962), professor emeritus of internal medicine in the division of endocrinology and metabolism, died January 11, 2020, at the age of 93. Knopf served in WWII in New Guinea, Leyte, and Luzan. Following V-J Day, he served with the U.S. occupation forces in Japan. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Purple Heart.

After completing undergraduate and medical degrees at U-M, Knopf did his internship and a year of residency at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, where he received the Pfizer Resident Award in 1955. He completed his residency at U-M in 1959 and a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism in 1962. Afterward, he served as professor of internal medicine until his retirement in 1996. He then continued to work as professor emeritus for 14 years until his second retirement in 2010. A superb clinician and teacher, Knopf was widely recognized for his extensive knowledge of endocrinology. His colleagues also valued his kindness, humility, and calm demeanor.

Knopf and his wife, Susan, raised three children, with whom he shared both his childhood passion for sailing and his dry, subtle sense of humor.

This obituary was adapted primarily from one published in the Ann Arbor News.