Dr. Ralph Feigin, the pediatrician who built the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital into major teaching and research institutions and who literally wrote the book on children's infectious diseases, died Aug. 14 in Houston. He was 70. Although he was not a smoker, Feigin had been battling lung cancer for 10 months.
When Feigin joined Baylor in 1977, the pediatrics department had only 39 faculty members and federal research funding totaling $355,000 per year. The affiliated Texas Children's Hospital averaged about 7,000 inpatients per year, 9,000 outpatients and 9,000 emergency room visits. Under Feigin's leadership as chair of the department of pediatrics, physician-in-chief at Texas Children's and ultimately president and chief executive of Baylor, the department has become the nation's largest and one of its best, with 539 faculty members and annual federal funding of $89 million. The hospital now serves 22,000 inpatients, 500,000 outpatients and 85,000 emergency room visitors each year.
Philomena Gotti, whose brood of 13 children included Gambino crime family kingpin John Gotti Jr. and four other sons with mob ties, died Tuesday on Long Island, N.Y. She was 96. Her death came a day before Gotti Jr. was to answer federal racketeering charges in Tampa, Fla. Philomena Gotti, known as Fanny, was born near Naples, Italy, where she married John Gotti Sr. They moved to the United States in the 1920s.