Additional Statementsby Former Senator Mark Udall
Posted on 2013-01-04
UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, today I wish to pay
tribute to Dr. Ben Eiseman, a world-renowned surgeon, a true American
and a great friend of mine. Dr. Eiseman was an accomplished man in
every sense of the word and is survived by his wife of 67 years, his
four children and five grandchildren.
Dr. Eiseman was an incredibly intelligent individual and an avid self-learner. He graduated from Yale University in 1939 and went on to receive his Medical Degree from Harvard University in 1943. Dr. Eiseman possessed extraordinary scientific ingenuity that led him to discover an astonishing number of medical complications and cures.
In addition to these discoveries, Dr. Eiseman also authored and coauthored over 450 scientific papers, was principal editor of seven books on general surgery and was a retired Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy Reserves--he was very proud of his service to his country. Whenever I mentioned Dr. Eiseman to other surgeons, whether they live in another State or another country, he or she would instantly know his name.
I worked with Dr. Eiseman during my time as Executive Director of the Colorado Outward Bound School. At that time he was chairman of the Board of Trustees, and he was a major influence in my life, an incredible friend, and a wise mentor. One of the reasons Dr. Eiseman and I were so close had much to do with our shared love for the great outdoors. He was one of the few people I knew who had climbed all of the mountains in Colorado over 14,000 feet.
I recall a time almost three decades ago--while I was still with Outward Bound--when Dr. Eiseman accompanied me on a winter climbing trip for advanced climbers. He was always asking us to think through each and every step. In asking the right questions and challenging us along the way, he made me a stronger leader.
One reason we all respected Dr. Eiseman was because we all admired his unassuming ruggedness. On this trip, where it was at least 10 degrees below zero, none of us were surprised as Dr. Eiseman walked around comfortably in his Converse high-tops while the rest of us muddled around, freezing in our high-tech, insulated boots. When it was time to rest for the night, most of the team rolled out their latest and greatest sleeping bags, while Dr. Eiseman pulled out the equivalent of a lawn chair cushion to curl up on for the night. Always the task master, Dr. Eiseman was the first one up in the morning to make sure that everyone, including myself, was thoroughly prepared to take on whatever was in store for us each day. It was just the way he was tough, rugged and focused.
Dr. Eiseman inspired me by the way he commanded respect from all who interacted with him. Sure, he was seen as intimidating by some, but for those who knew him, they were treated to his wonderful sense of humor. He was a dedicated community leader, outdoorsman, and patriot.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend Ben Eiseman, but I know [[Page S23]] that his work here on this Earth changed the lives of thousands and that his legacy will not be forgotten.
May his memory live on for years to come.