Irving Mauss: Honoring a "True Pioneer"

Evelyn Mauss was just 14 years old when she organized a junior chapter of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in New York City in 1929. A lifelong quest for peace, justice, and public health had begun. That same quest brought her to Baltimore, where in 1941 she received her doctoral degree at the school now known as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and launched a scientific career dedicated to others.

After graduating from Hopkins, Evelyn and her husband, pediatrician Irving Mauss, moved to South Dakota, where he was stationed for the U.S. Public Health Service. There, she set up a branch laboratory of the state's health department, testing residents for syphilis and gonorrhea, and inspecting milk for farmers.

When the family returned to New York, Mauss joined the faculty at New York University's School of Dentistry, where she taught physiology for 30 years. She then consulted in science for the Natural Resources Defense Council, remained active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and worked to end childhood lead poisoning as a member of the executive committee of the New York chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Evelyn Mauss spent the morning of Jan. 18, 2003, passing out anti-war flyers in Manhattan; she died that day at the age of 87.

"My wife was always very socially conscious and interested in the welfare of the people of the world," says Irving, her husband of 65 years. "She was always proud of Hopkins, and it opened many doors for her. It was very important for me to make a gift in her loving memory, at a school where she had been so happy."

In honor of her passion for peace, social justice, environmental health, and women's rights, as well as her dedication to Johns Hopkins, her husband recently established a charitable gift annuity to support the work of Johns Hopkins researcher Ellen K. Silbergeld, Ph.D.

"Dr. Mauss was a true pioneer in environmental health, and her work made the essential connection between the social and environmental conditions that affect children's development worldwide," says Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. "The generous gift of the Mauss family will both honor and sustain her vision by supporting the work of students on the disparate burden of risks experienced by children."

Gift vehicle used: Charitable gift annuity

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