Gaynor, Harry J. 1921-2003
GAYNOR, Harry J. 1921-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 15, 1921, in Newark, NJ; died of esophageal cancer February 26, 2003, in Morristown, NJ. Businessman and author. Gaynor was best known as the founder of the National Burn-Victim Foundation. After flying B-24 bombers for the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II—a term highlighted by his capture in Romania and subsequent escape from a POW camp—Gaynor worked at various electronics companies. He eventually became vice president of marketing for a New Jersey firm in the 1970s. When his company began manufacturing smoke detectors, Gaynor read a book about burn victims and learned that not enough was being done to help these people. Inspired, in 1974 he quit his job and founded the National Burn-Victim Foundation, which raises money for hospital burn-victim units and helps establish new treatment facilities. The foundation is involved in other initiatives, as well, including education, creating guidelines for "emergency response plans" in times of disaster, and helping with criminal investigations that involve serious burns, such as child abuse cases. The coauthor of the book A World without Tears: The Case of Charles Rothenberg (1980) and author of Child Abuse? Think Again (revised edition, 1994) and The Root of Child Abuse: Anger (1999), Gaynor was the recipient of many awards for his charitable work, including being named National Activist of the Year for Volunteering by the National Center for Voluntary Action in 1976 and Citizen of the Year by B'nai B'rith that same year.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Writers Directory, 18th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2003.
Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), March 1, 2003, p. 24. Washington Post, March 4, 2003, p. B5.