Donald H. Harter


Dr. Donald Harry Harter, of Washington, died on Aug. 3.

Born in Breslau, Germany, on May 16, 1933, Donald immigrated with his family to Havana in 1939 and then to New York City in 1940.

He graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in St. Albans, N.Y., in 1950 and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953. He received his medical degree in 1957 from Columbia University.

In 1961, he began a two-year period of service as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, serving as a neurologist with the Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He then returned to the New York Neurological Institute, serving in various capacities including resident and attending neurologist.

In 1987, he was named a senior scientific officer with the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase.

Throughout his career, he served on many professional committees, medical research advisory boards, and editorial boards for professional journals. From 1986 to 1992, he served as a medical advisor to the Les Turner Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation.

His work was recognized with a number of awards, fellowships, and honors, including the Joseph Mather Smith Prize from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1970; the Lucy G. Moses Award in Neurology from the same institution in 1970 and 1972; the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1973; the American Cancer Society’s Eleanor Roosevelt
International Cancer Fellowship in 1973; the American Cancer Society’s Scholar Award, 1973–1974; and the Donald W. Mulder Award of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association in 1998.

He was a long-time member of Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington, as well as of, the University Club of Washington, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi.

Donald is survived by his wife, Marjorie Brandt Harter; his children by a previous marriage, Kathryne Harter, Jennifer Harter, Amy Pedulla and David Harter; his grandchildren, Emily and Charlotte Harter, Ethan and Matthew Smelson, and Rebecca and Luke Pedulla; and his sister, Dorothy Jacobs.

Contributions may be made to the Les Turner Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation (

Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.

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