Julius Piver, doctor, lawyer
Julius Piver, 87, an obstetrician and gynecologist who delivered more than
4,000 babies in a medical career that spanned more than 50 years, died of
bladder cancer March 22 at his home in Bethesda.
The death was confirmed by his daughter Susan Piver Browne.
Dr. Piver also was a lawyer, and he opened a legal practice late in his medical
career. He was a medical-legal consultant on malpractice cases and the author
of articles on medical legal issues for scholarly journals.
His medical subspecialties included treatment of women for infertility. From
1975 to 1980, he chaired Washington Hospital Center’s gynecology
Julius Samuel Piver was a native Washingtonian. He was the subject of a
1987 profile in The Washington Post that noted his “story is to Washington
what Neil Simon’s autobiographical play ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ is to
Brooklyn, N.Y.: a portrait of growing up Jewish in the city in the bittersweet
years before and during World War II.”
Dr. Piver’s parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. In Washington, they
ran Piver’s Delicatessen on 14th Street NW; his mother worked the 8 a.m.-to-
4 p.m. shift and his father worked from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m.
“They passed in the night like ships at sea,” Dr. Piver told The Post. “I don’t
know how they ever had time to have children.” The store was closed for
only two days a year, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
“From the time I was 11 or 12,” Dr. Piver said, he was working at his
parents’ delicatessen, “behind the counter slicing meat. . . . My parents said
you needed an education to get ahead. Basically it meant getting into a
profession where you didn’t have to work 20 hours a day like they did. My
father always pushed me into medicine. He said doctors were highly respected
and made a comfortable income.”
Julius Piver graduated from the old Central High School in 1942. He served
in the Army Medical Corps in England during World War II, then graduated in
1948 from George Washington University. He drove a taxicab to help pay
expenses. In 1952 he graduated from GWU’s medical school.
He did a medical internship at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and a residency at
Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington. As a physician, he had offices
in Chevy Chase and Laurel.
In the later years of his medical practice, Dr. Piver grew increasingly
concerned about medical-legal issues and, in 1986, graduated from American
University law school. He continued to practice law until last month. He
retired from his medical practice in September 2011.
His avocations included golf and gin rummy.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Louise Rubin Piver of Bethesda; three
children, Susan Piver Browne of Boston, David Piver of Newtown Square,
Pa., and Carol Hanna of Potomac; a brother; and three grandchildren.
— Bart Barnes