Dr. Lesser Blum, 82, of Summit died April 24, 2016. Born in Berlin, he fled to Argentina in 1942.
Dr. Blum received an MSc in chemistry in 1954 and a PhD in chemistry two years later, at the age of 21, from the University of Buenos Aires. In 1955, the university was all but closed for research, and he spent a few years in the chemical industry. After the fall of Argentina’s president, Juan Péron, in 1955, the university started to support full research again, and he took part in the rebuilding of the sciences, benefitting from exchanges with science centers around the world.
He began teaching at the University of Buenos Aires in 1960. At this point, he began to work on theoretical chemistry and obtained a scholarship to work in Brussels, where he was introduced to statistical mechanics. Another Argentinian revolution displaced him to Houston in 1967, where he then worked at Rice University on fluid systems and kinetic equations.
In 1968, he moved to the University of Puerto Rico, and there began to work on electrochemistry.
He authored more than 250 publications, and received numerous honors and awards, including being selected as a John S. Guggenheim fellow (1978), a fellow of the American Physical Society (1981), and as a Georgetown University adjunct research professor of chemistry (1997). In 2003 he received the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in the Theoretical & Experimental Chemistry of Liquids. He consulted at the Sorbonne in France, lectured all over the world, and served as a visiting professor at both Rutgers and Princeton universities until he retired in 2006. He was also named an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Puerto Rico. He was a member of the American Chemical Society.
He was a member of Congregation Ohr Shalom-The Summit Jewish Community Center.
He is survived by his wife, Elisa (Sasson); three sons, Jorge (Veronica) of Summit, Steven (Claudia) of Scarsdale, NY, and Isaac “Lenny” (Elizabeth) of Armonk, NY; and seven grandchildren.
Services were held April 25 with arrangements by Ross’ Shalom Chapels, Springfield.