June 23 – Happy Birthday Dr. Harry Lebman

lebmanThey say all good things take time and it took a while for Dr. Harry Lebman to get to Amsterdam. He was born in Gloversville on June 23, 1908. He worked his way through both college and med school. Then, while doing his residency at Manhattan’s Gouverneur Hospital, he met a nurse named Catherine who would become better known for the next 75 years as Kay Lebman. After stops in Oklahoma and Boston, the couple finally came to Amsterdam in 1945 and opened up a private practice. With Kay serving as his office nurse, it took very little time for Dr. Lebman to become a highly respected member of Amsterdam’s medical community. The first Lebman practice was located on Guy Park Avenue. It was then moved to an office in the couples home at 87 Division Street, which was located on a plot that is now part of the Stratton Apartments complex.

Though Dr. Lebman had a thriving family practice, cardiology was his passion. In the early 1950’s he spent two summers at Harvard University studying that specialization under famed heart surgeon Dr. Paul Dudley. He is responsible for creating the first cardiac units at both Amsterdam City and St. Mary’s Hospitals and directing both those units for the next quarter century. In 1953, he became one of the founders of the local chapter of the American Heart Association.

He and Kay had two daughters, Rose and Renee and a son Robert. They were absolute devoted parents who adored their children and their children’s friends and celebrated their accomplishments throughout their lives. They were also a very compassionate and involved couple when it came to this community, supporting all sorts of charities and progressive political causes.

Dr. Lebman remained active in Amsterdam’s medical community for 55 years, not fully retiring until the year 2000, when he was 92 years old. He and Kay then moved out to the Rochester area where all three of their children had settled. He lived four more years while Kay lived to be 102, passing away in 2011. The Lebman’s were certainly one of those special couples who made Amsterdam a better place.

The good Doctor shares his June 23rd Birthday with one of Amsterdam’s all-time greatest baseball players.

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