October 8, 1939 – March 19, 2022 James Joseph Salz, MD, passed away peacefully at the age of 82 in Santa Monica, CA on March 19th. After graduating from Duke University School of Medicine in 1965, he moved to Los Angeles for his internship and residency at LA County-USC Medical Center. dr Salt served honorably in the US Armed Forces and achieved the rank of Lt. Commander, United States Navy as a Staff Ophthalmologist at the US Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, CA. dr Salz dedicated his life to his family and his career in ophthalmology. Beginning in the 1970’s, Dr. Salz was part of a group of pioneers who first inserted intraocular lens implants during cataract surgery. Today, more than 28 million cataract surgery procedures are performed annually in the world. He was a true visionary in advancing refractive surgery helping people all over the world to see more clearly. dr Salz served as the principal investigator in 12 FDA clinical trials for the approval of lasers used in LASIK and other laser vision procedures. To date, nearly 20 million laser vision correction procedures have been performed worldwide. dr Salt served as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC for over 40 years. He was one of the founders of the Journal of Refractive Surgery and its Editor-in-Chief for three years. He published over 110 articles in peer-reviewed publications and also wrote 20 textbook chapters. He was the co-editor of the textbook, Refractive Corneal Surgery, and was the editor-in-chief of the seminal textbook, Corneal Laser Surgery. He made over 250 presentations at major meetings of ophthalmologists worldwide. dr Salz personally taught refractive eye surgery procedures to many hundreds of eye surgeons. He was a recognized giant in ophthalmology and often met with other luminaries in the field. He could just as often be found socializing with the same friendly demeanor and genuine interest among residents and medical students. His peers recognized his contributions with the highest honors and awards, including the Barraquer Award in 1994, which recognized only one physician each year for their “significant contributions to the field of refractive surgery.” He was selected for the USC-Doheny Eye Institute Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998, granted only to a single physician per year. The American Academy of Ophthalmology awarded him with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2013. Throughout his life, Dr. Salt was actively engaged in charitable causes. He participated in Project Orbus (a flying eye hospital) in Sarajevo and Cuba and also volunteered his time at a cataract surgery camp in India. He frequently donated his time at the Liga Eye Clinic in El Forte, Mexico. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Martin of Tours Church and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, organizing the annual charitable golf tournaments for both organizations. An avid sports enthusiast, he regularly attended USC football games and was a rabid Duke basketball fan. He coached, supported, and cheered for his children and grandchildren in all their sports and activities. He especially enjoyed sailing and skiing with his family and was thrilled when he finally got to ski for free at Mammoth after turning 80! dr Salt is survived by his wife Judith, his children, James, Mark (Monica), Heather (Scott), Elisabeth (Kevin), his grandchildren, Emily, Riley, Brody, Matthew, Ella, Sam, Emmett, Grace, Lucy, and Hazel, his sister Audrey, her son and his nephew David as well as thousands of friends, colleagues and patients. Services will he held at St. Martin’s of Tours Catholic Church at 11:00 am on April 2, 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations: The El Fuerte Eye Clinic. Please visit www.ligainternational.org, go to Support Liga, and then go to the El Fuerte Eye Clinic. The Vincent Ain Karem Home. Please visit https://www.eohsjwesternusa.org, select Giving, Special Projects, click the green bar, and at “I want to support” select St. Vincent Ain Karem Home and in the comments box write that your donation is in memory of Sir James J. Salt. Please sign the guest book at mcnerneysmortuary.com.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Mar. 27, 2022.
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