USC University of Southern California

Ostrow School of Dentistry Mourns Professor Emeritus Hugh M. Kopel, 94

Professor Emeritus Hugh M. Kopel
Professor Emeritus Hugh M. Kopel

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Dentistry Hugh M. Kopel passed away May 22, 2013 at the age of 94. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Kopel was born in 1918. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan and his DDS from the University of Detroit.

After serving in World War II, he returned to the University of Michigan and received his masters in Pediatric Dentistry.  He then established a private practice in Detroit, and he also became director of Postgraduate Pediatric Dental Training at the University of Detroit and a research associate at the University of Michigan.

Kopel moved to Los Angeles in 1967. Robert Andrews, the chairman of the USC Pediatric Dentistry Department, recruited Kopel to create a graduate pediatric dental program at the Ostrow School of Dentistry, then known as the USC School of Dentistry. He was responsible for developing one of the most outstanding residency programs in the country. Kopel retired from USC in 1989 as a Professor Emeritus.

Over the years he had made many personal friendships with his residents, and because of these friendships he lectured worldwide, particularly in Mexico and Guatemala. He was also a prolific writer with numerous publications to his credit. Kopel served as president of the Southern California Society of Dentistry for Children and the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, was a member of the College of Diplomates and the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, and was made a lifetime member of the USC Pediatric Dentistry Alumni Association.

Kopel was preceded in death by his wife of many years, Lillian, and is survived by two children, Mrs. Howard (Tracey) Blitz and Reid J. Kopel PhD, and grandchildren.

Memorial services are tentatively set at Hillside Memorial Park on Sunday May 26, 2013.