Lee Salem Harrow


Lee S. Harrow, loving husband, father, grandfather, chemist, musician, carpenter, Golden Gloves boxer and football player passed away on Nov. 5 in Sarasota, Fla. Harrow was born in 1926 in Washington, D.C. Trained as a chemist and chemical engineer, he graduated from George Washington University in 1946 and married Phyllis Steuer in the same year. In 1952-1953, Lee attended night school at Georgetown University obtaining an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical chemistry while working during the day as a chemist for the Food and Drug Administration laboratories in Washington, D.C.

While at the FDA, he developed variable reference spectrophotometry — a technique for analyzing complex solutions without prior separation of components. Dr. Harrow became Instrument Section group leader and later group manager for Analytical Division of the Philip Morris laboratories in Richmond, Va., from 1955-1961. During his tenure at Philip Morris laboratories, he designed and built along with A.J.P. Martin (Nobel Prize winner) the first gas chromatography instrument in the United States. This instrument is used in various forms in hundreds of process plants, schools and universities today.

In his extensive career, Dr. Harrow served as the technical director for American Safety Razor Division of Philip Morris from 1961-1964; the laboratory manager of General Foods Corp. Research Department from 1964-1967; vice president and technical director at the Coca-Cola Company Foods Division from 1967-1973; and as the vice president and corporate technical director for the H. J. Heinz Company from 1973-1989. While at H. J. Heinz, he was instrumental in the development of many overseas business units and food processing plants in Thailand, People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Mexico and Zimbabwe.

He retired in 1989. Since retirement, Lee has done occasional work for Sustain and Teltec. He was a member emeritus of the American Chemical Society, fellow at American Institute of Chemists and a founding member of International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). He was a former congregant at Temple Beth El in Richmond, Va., Temple House of Israel in Staunton, Va., Temple Emanuel in Westwood, N.J., Temple Brith Shalom in Houston, Temple Beth El in Pittsburgh, Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El in Sarasota, a founding member of Beth Am Houston and was most recently a member of the Jewish Center of Venice in Venice, Fla.


Dr. Harrow is survived by his wife of 67 years, Phyllis Steuer Harrow; three sons and one daughter — Jeffrey John Harrow, M.D., Ph.D. and his wife Anita; Bruce Ira Harrow, M.D., MPH and his wife Debra; Arthur Steven Harrow, M.D., and his wife Judith, and Sarah Harrow Harlan, MPH and her husband Michael Harlan; eight grandchildren, Seth Adam Harrow, Jason David Harrow, Jennifer Brittany Harlan, Sadie Ann Marie Harlan, Joseph Samuel Harlan, Hannah Sarah Harrow, Ilana Shira Harrow, and Maleah Nicole Harrow.

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here