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    Renowned neurosurgeon Joseph Ransohoff dies at age 85

    By LINDA GIBSON

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 3, 2001


    TAMPA -- Dr. Joseph Ransohoff III, renowned for his innovations in neurosurgery, died in his sleep Tuesday night. He was 85.

    Dr. Ransohoff came to Tampa eight years ago after more than three decades as professor and chairman of New York University's neurosurgery department. He was 77 when he began working at the James A. Haley VA Hospital, and he continued operating until his early 80s.

    "He was world-renowned for his competence in operating on brain tumors," said Dr. Thomas Bowen, chief of staff at Haley. "He was a very bright old gentleman who was exceedingly innovative, coming up with a lot of new things that younger people didn't."

    While at Haley, Dr. Ransohoff proposed establishing a center of excellence for the treatment and research of Parkinson's disease. The hospital is assembling a staff of surgeons and neurologists to run it, Bowen said.

    Dr. Ransohoff's father and grandfather were surgeons. In addition to his career at New York University, Dr. Ransohoff also served as a surgeon in the U.S. Army and the New York City Police Department.

    Dr. Ransohoff endured a spate of unwelcome publicity two years ago after a 27-year-old lingerie model, Laura Holt, was sentenced to a year in jail for grand theft. She told police the doctor had given her more than $100,000 over time after her friends threatened to expose their affair.

    About 18 months ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

    In addition to his wife, Dr. Ransohoff is survived by two daughters, Joan Ransohoff Wynn and Jade Ransohoff; sons, Joe Ransohoff and Jake Ransohoff; and grandchildren, James and Benjamin Wynn, and Christopher, Sianna and Olivia Ransohoff.

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