Raymond Seltser, public health expert

March 7

Raymond Seltser, a physician who later became a public health scholar and an official of the Centers for Disease Control, died Feb. 16 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. He was 90.

The cause was pneumonia, his son Barry Seltser said.

From 1959 to 1976, Dr. Seltser was a professor and associate dean at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health. He was deputy director of the university’s oncology center from 1977 to 1981.

He served as dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health from 1981 to 1988, when he came to Washington as associate director of the Centers for Disease Control. He was a senior adviser to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 1990 to 1998.

Raymond Seltser was born in Boston and graduated from Boston University, from which he received his medical degree in 1948. He received a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins in 1957.

Before focusing on public health and epidemiology, Dr. Seltser served as an Army medical officer during the Korean War. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

He wrote scholarly articles on smoking, radiation and other public health matters and later consulted on disability issues.

He lived in Chevy Chase, Md., until moving to the District several months ago.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Charlotte Gale Seltser of Washington; two sons, Barry Seltser of Silver Spring, Md., and Andrew Seltser of Friday Harbor, Wash.; and a granddaughter.

— Matt Schudel