Lives of the fellows

Simon Bor

b.16 October 1927 d.18 March 2004
MB ChB Cape Town(1952) MRCP Glasg(1965) FRCP Glasg(1972) MRCP(1987) FRCP(1989)

Simon Bor was a dermatologist, based for much of his career in London, although he was trained in South Africa. He was born in Latvia, but his parents emigrated to South Africa two years later, where his father prospered as a shirt manufacturer.

Simon was educated in Cape Town and played soccer for the University of Cape Town. He graduated in 1952. After house officer posts in Cape Town and a brief sojourn in London as a house officer in obstetrics and gynaecology, he returned to Cape Town as a registrar in general medicine and then dermatology.

In the early sixties he went to London as a registrar in the skin department at the London Hospital, where the writer first met him. Simon developed an interest in electron microscopy and subsequently spent some years as a research assistant in London, particularly studying nerve endings and their relationship to melanocytes in the skin in vitiligo. Several publications stemmed from this work.

In 1969 Simon and his wife decided to return to South Africa, and he went into private practice in Johannesburg. He also consulted at the Johannesburg General Hospital. Simon became involved with the 'Flying Angels' - the flying doctors service funded by Harry Oppenheimer of De Beers and he would fly to Swaziland and neighbouring areas to bring dermatological help to poor rural areas of South Africa.

In 1982, the Bors, increasingly disillusioned by the political situation in South Africa, returned to London and Simon was appointed consultant dermatologist at Harold Wood Hospital in Essex, where he remained until his retirement from the NHS in 1993. During these years he developed one of the leading dermatological practices in London. He remained in demand in his Harley Street room long after his NHS retirement and indeed until his final illness compelled him to retire only a few months before he died.

He maintained close ties with his friends and colleagues in South Africa, but above all he was essentially a family man who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his children and grandchildren.

In 1957 Simon married Rochelle Katz, the daughter of a well-known Johannesburg neurologist. They had three sons, one of whom is a lawyer, another a professor of psychology and the third a city analyst.

After Simon's death, the writer took under his care a number of his patients and was moved by the warm tributes they paid to Bor and by how much they had been helped by his care and comforted by his constant cheerfulness and good humour. He died of cancer of the pancreas.

Harvey Baker

(Volume XII, page web)

<< Back to List