Nature 34

Dr. Theodore Allen Kotchen

June 27, 1938 ~ July 6, 2021 (age 83)


Of Milwaukee, WI, died on July 6, 2021.  Ted was born in Hartford, CT, on June 27, 1938, the oldest son of Alfred and Pearl Kotchen.  He was educated at The Loomis Chaffee School, Harvard College, and Case Western Reserve University Medical School. 

Ted was a professor of medicine, an internationally recognized clinical scientist, and an academic leader in a career that spanned more than fifty years. He held leadership positions at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine (Chief, Division of Endocrinology-Metabolism), West Virginia University School of Medicine (Chairman, Department of Medicine), and the Medical College of Wisconsin (Chairman, Department of Medicine). His research was funded throughout his career by the National Institutes of Health, and he was among the world’s leading experts in the study of dietary salt and other nutrients upon blood pressure. He published over 250 manuscripts related to hypertension and population health. He was among a small team of leading scientists that crafted the dietary guidelines of the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health over the past several decades. He directed the clinical studies of an NIH-Specialized Center for Hypertension Research established at the MCW, a pioneering program aimed at defining the genetic basis of human hypertension. He led the way in establishing the NIH-funded Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin at MCW. He was a beloved mentor and helped launch the careers of many junior investigators. He was active in academia until the very end. 

He met his wife of 57 years, Dr. Jane Morley Kotchen, at Case Western Reserve, and she too has had a distinguished career in academic medicine. He is survived by his wife and their five children: Sarah Kotchen Rack (Michael) of Memphis, TN; Robert Kotchen of Chicago, IL; David Kotchen (Lei) of New York, NY; Peter Kotchen (Catherine) of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL; and Daniel Kotchen (Christina) of Neenah, WI. Jane and Ted have nine grandchildren: John and Anne (Memphis), Aaron and Audrey (New York), Trammell and Leila (Ponte Vedra Beach), and Emma, Theodore, and Benjamin (Neenah). Ted was preceded in death by his brother, William Kotchen.

Ted cherished the large holiday gatherings he often hosted at his home for family and his oldest and dearest friend, Marty Nemirow. When Jane had a debilitating stroke in 2016, Ted, who at the time was a highly productive faculty member at MCW, became her primary care giver, a role he handled with love, determination and grace.  Ted’s greatest legacy, which he has modeled throughout his life, will be his love and devotion for his family.

Graveside services will be held on Monday July 12, 2021 at 12:00 Noon at Forest Home Cemetery, 2405 W. Forest Home Avenue; Milwaukee, WI  53215.




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Graveside Service
July 12, 2021

12:00 PM
Forest Home Cemetery
2405 West Forest Home Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53215

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