Ronald Klein

Ronald Klein

Ronald Klein (Ron), age 76, of Madison, Wisconsin, died on August 31, 2019.

Ron is survived by his wife, Dr. Barbara E. K. Klein, his son, Daniel, his daughter-in-law, Cassandra, and his grandson, Abram. He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene Klein, his mother, Rose Klein, his brother, Larry Klein and his son, Robert Klein.

Ron received his MD from New York University, completed residency training in Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and postdoctoral training in the Department of Ophthalmology, UW-Madison.

Ron’s research was focused primarily on the epidemiology of eye disease with the goal to decrease the burden of visual impairment and blindness due to diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Ron was the co-principal investigator, with his wife and partner of 54 years, Barbara, of two population-based epidemiological studies, the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy (WESDR, begun in 1979) and the Beaver Dam Eye Study (BDES, begun in 1987). The findings of both studies have been instrumental in improving medical and ophthalmologic care for persons with diabetes and for persons with age-related eye diseases. Along with Barbara, Ron co-directed the University of Wisconsin-Madison Ocular Epidemiology Reading Center where they were involved with developing and implementing protocols to grade ocular photographs for the severity of age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases, and data analyses and paper writing from many large ongoing cohort studies and collaborations worldwide. Ron authored or co-authored over 1000 reports in peer-reviewed journals and over 50 book chapters.

Beyond that, Ron was a rabid New York Yankees fan, an avid reader, traveler, hiker, sailor, and photographer. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and he will be dearly missed, but his legacy will hopefully benefit thousands, if not millions, of people suffering from diabetes and other age-related eye and systemic ailments in the years to come.

In lieu of flowers, please direct any donations to Brooklyn College or Agrace Hospice.