Philippe Pompier, MD | The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh

FIREFIGHTER: Philip Fireman, MD, 89, loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, professor, teacher, researcher and mentor died peacefully in bed at his Pittsburgh home on January 13, 2022. He was a renowned expert in the characteristics of immunoglobulin that formed the basis of modern allergy and immunology practice.
Fireman was born at home on Caldwell Street in the Hill District in 1932 to Anna (Caplan) and Nathan Fireman. Both Anna and Nathan came to Pittsburgh as teenagers in the early 1900s and ran a family grocery and butcher shop on the Hill. His family moved to Baywood Street in the East End. He came from a family that valued education – his sister Thelma was a teacher, his brother Eddie was an astrophysicist, a Smithsonian researcher at Harvard and MIT faculty, and his brother Jack was a pharmacist and then a doctor. As the youngest brother, Phil had big shoes to fill.
He became a bar mitzvah at Torah Chaim on Negley Avenue. A graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools Rogers Elementary and Peabody High School, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Chicago’s medical class in 1957, Fireman excelled in the classroom and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, he married Marcia Levick of Squirrel Hill on November 27, 1957 at Congregation B’nai Israel. They just celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.
He did his internship at Philadelphia General, his residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and a fellowship in allergy and immunology at Harvard University. He worked as a Navy officer and was a researcher and clinical scientist at the National Institutes of Health – Allergy, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, before becoming a full professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University School of Medicine. ‘University of Pittsburgh. Early in his career, he discovered a rare immunodeficiency syndrome named after him and released bubble babies. He was a visiting scientist at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. A distinguished research associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York. Among his many honors and distinctions, he is the recipient of an NIH Research Career Development Fellowship, an NIH Special Research Fellowship, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Chicago. His bibliography includes more than 200 publications. He was editor of the American Journal of Rhinology. His book “Atlas of Allergy” is in its third edition and has been translated into Spanish. It has had the honor of more than 150 guest lecturers and research collaborations worldwide. Past President of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, Past Chairman of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Past Member of the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Specialties. He has trained more than 50 postdoctoral fellows. When he retired after 45 years, he was the longest serving employee at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Marcia; his five children, Mark, Randi, Paul, David and Lee, and their spouses; he was predeceased by his beloved granddaughter Sarah; and is survived by 12 grandchildren, Josh, Armin, Michael, Matthew, Karen, Ellie, Anna, Leah, Daniel, Eric, Ben and Henry, and his first great-grandson Hayes.
He was an active skier, traveler and bird watcher who loved classical music but enjoyed spending time with family and friends. In honor of his memory, donations may be made in his name to the JCC Center for Loving Kindness ( and the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology ( Funeral services and interment were held at Tree of Life Memorial Park. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. PJC

Receive The Jewish Chronicle Weekly Edition by email and never miss our best stories

About Shirley Dickson

Check Also

Health and Wellness Expo Returns to LCCC

One of Lorain County Community College’s favorite events has returned after more than three years …