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Fontana, Vincent J. 1923-2005

FONTANA, Vincent J. 1923-2005

(Vincent James Fontana)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 19, 1923, in New York, NY; died July 5, 2005, in Block Island, RI. Pediatrician, foundation executive, and author. Fontana was best known as a longtime director of the New York Foundling Hospital, a social services agency that was a center for the prevention of child abuse and care for its victims. A graduate of the Long Island College of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1947, he then went on to study pediatrics, obstetrics, and pediatric allergies at New York University until 1952. That year, he joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps and was stationed in Bethesda, Maryland, where, among other duties, he served as President Dwight Eisenhower's personal physician. Leaving the army in 1954, he moved back to New York City and started his own practice, where his patients included, most famously, Cardinal Francis Spellman. In 1959, Fontana was hired by the Foundling to be its medical director, thus beginning a long career in which he greatly expanded the center's facilities and programs. In addition to providing medical treatment, the Foundling offered counseling, shelter, and training services to protect children from physical, emotional, and mental abuse. In addition to his work at the center, Fontana was director of pediatrics at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center, had a private practice, and was a clinical professor of pediatrics at the New York University Medical Center College of Medicine. Furthermore, in 1998 he established the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. Fontana was the author of such books as The Maltreated Child: The Maltreatment Syndrome in Children (1964; second edition, 1971), Somewhere a Child Is Crying: Maltreatment—Causes and Prevention (1973), and A Parent's Guide to Child Safety (1973).



Grand Rapids Press, July 10, 2005, p. B7.

New York Times, July 9, 2005, p. A15.


Villager Online, (June 13, 2005).

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