Dr. Jerome Zwanger, 94, a physician whose Long Island radiology group became well-known to doctors across the country, died April 29 after a long illness.
Zwanger — the son of Benjamin Zwanger, a pharmacist, and his wife, Evelyn — was born in Brooklyn on April 4, 1923.
He graduated with a chemistry degree in 1944 from the University of Pennsylvania, after serving as class president, and received his M.D. from the Chicago Medical School in 1947.
In 1952, Zwanger became assistant director of radiology at Long Island College Hospital and established a Massapequa radiology practice, which later developed into the Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology Group. Zwanger co-founded the radiology practice with his friend and partner, Dr. Ergi John Pesiri, who died in November.
Zwanger’s daughter Dr. Susan Zwanger-Mendelsohn of New York City, said the busier her father became, the more he made sure his family came first.
“He was very, very proud of his family and incredibly supportive,” she said, noting the family lived close to her father’s office so he could see them often. “He was always home for dinner even if he had to go back to the office after dinner.”
She said he often received letters from grateful patients thanking him for helping them deal with their illnesses.
Zwanger and his partner sold their radiology group in 1992.
He was a diplomate of the American Board of Radiology, served on staff at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and was co-director of the Plainview Hospital radiology department from 1960 to 1992. Additionally, he served as president of the Nassau County Medical Society, the New York State Radiological Society and the Long Island Radiological Society.
Zwanger was appointed to the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct and served two terms on the Board of Overseers of the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania and was a patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
Another daughter, Betsy Zwanger Budzinski, of Clearwater, Florida, said her father and his wife, Bernice, who died in 2008, “developed an interesting passion for collecting antiques.”
Zwanger concentrated on antique arms and armour, his daughter said, while Bernice was interested in “Renaissance jewels and medals.” They were married for 53 years.
Bernice earned a law degree in 1949 and was one of just three women in her class at Brooklyn Law School. She practiced law for a while but gave it up to assist Zwanger with his growing medical practice.
Zwanger had another daughter, Roberta Zwanger, who lived in Norwich, Connecticut, and died in 2005. A fourth daughter, Melissa Zwanger, lives in New York City. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A funeral was held Tuesday at Gutterman’s in Woodbury and interment followed at Mount Ararat Cemetery in Farmingdale. The family requests that contributions be made to the Brooklyn Law School or to Temple Sinai in Massapequa.