Lawrence Arthur Cone, M.D., 81, of Palm Springs, Calif. passed away July 10, 2009 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was born March 23, 1928 to Max and Ruth Cone in New York City, NY. He married Mary Osborne on August 20, 1960 in Olivebridge, NY. He was a physician for 55 years. He was a member of the Tamarisk Country Club and the O’Donnell Golf Club and the Lotos Club. He served in the U.S. Army in 1955 as a Captain Medical Corp. Eisenhower Medical Center mourns the passing of Lawrence A. Cone, M.D. Dr. Cone was Board Certified in Internal Medicine with subspecialties in Oncology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases.
An esteemed researcher and clinical diagnostician, Lawrence Cone’s research in the etiology of disease was extensive and far-reaching including diseases from asthma, hepatitis and endocarditis, to multiple sclerosis, pneumonia and sepsis to prostate cancer, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, breast cancer and lung cancer. Dr. Cone published hundreds of clinical abstracts, research papers and medical texts. He was a sought after speaker, presenting his research abroad in England, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Spain, France, Austria, Italy, Argentina, Turkey, Japan and South Africa. He also conducted research for numerous pharmaceutical companies. From 1941 to 1943 he attended Townsend Harris High School in New York City. He graduated James Monroe High School in the Bronx, NY which he attended from 1943 to 1945. Three years later he received his BA degree from New York University, College of Arts and Pure Science, University Heights, NYC.
In 1953 Lawrence A. Cone received his medical degree from the University of Berne, Faculty of Medicine, Berne, Switzerland. He interned at Dallas Methodist Hospital in 1954-1955 and was a Resident in Medicine at both Flower Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital in New York City through 1960. To explain the gap in the years 1955-1957, that is when Dr. Cone served his country. He was a first Lieutenant in the Medical Corps at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas and then Captain and Commanding Officer of the 269th Medical Detachment, Wethheim, Germany.
Dr. Lawrence Cone came to Eisenhower Medical Center in 1972 and served as President of the Eisenhower Medical Center from 1986 to 1988. He put Eisenhower Medical Center on the academic map, leapfrogging over other national institutions. He was a genius. “He was the epitome of perseverance,” says Eisenhower’s Stuart Barton, M.D. “He was a fierce advocate for Eisenhower Medical Center, for his patients, and for the pursuit of knowledge. Larry Cone had a passion for challenges, including AIDS at its onset and other exotic diseases. He never met a test he did not embrace.” A lover of life, Lawrence Cone’s interests were as diverse as his talents. They ranged from American Indian to western art to nature and to science. As a physician, passion ignited intensity; and Dr. Cone was known for his energetic intervention and staunch advocacy on behalf of his patients as well as “always being there” for them. His research brought numerous clinical trials to Eisenhower providing other critical medical resources for patients of Eisenhower Medical Center.
Larry was also devoted to education and was a strong proponent of establishing an academic affiliation for Eisenhower Medical Center. Rocky Mountain College honored him in 1993 with a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa Degree, where he also gave the commencement address. In September 2007 he dedicated the Lawrence A. Cone, MD Medical Library, St. Luke’s Wood River Valley Medical Center, Ketchum, Idaho. “He was a ‘town and gown’… He epitomized academic excellence and practiced at a community hospital,” explains Barton. “His approach was that of a ‘New York Bulldog.’ His workups and consults were legendary, before, during and after DRG (diagnosis-related group classification). If you were fortunate to be a patient of Larry’s you would be diagnosed as if you were the ‘Patient of the Month’ at the Mayo Clinic… and treated as if you were the president of the Mayo Clinic.” In 2000 Dr. Cone established the Genetic Research Institute of the Desert, merging his keen interest in infectious diseases and medical oncology with the field of genetics. The first molecular biology research lab in the Coachella Valley, Genetic Research Institute of the Desert conducts research on the potential an individual has to develop cancer, or other diseases, and develops preventative and therapeutic strategies to an individual’s unique genome. Environmentally aware, Dr. Cone was also a supporter of the Living Desert and the Bighorn Institute. In addition he conducted research on the endangered Bighorn Sheep, identifying a type of pneumonia that was threatening the Bighorn population and a treatment and vaccination protocol for the sheep.
Lawrence A. Cone, M.D., is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary Cone of Palm Springs, Calif.; his son, Lionel A. Cone, M.D. of Los Angeles, Calif.; one grandson, Jonathan Cone, Esq.; his brother, Dr. David Z. Cone of New Jersey; and his sister, Susan Leskowitz.