William B. Ober

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

William Bernard Ober, M.D. was a pathologist at Beth Israel Hospital in New York, and is considered an Industry Expert. Dr. Ober has made statements defending tobacco industry interests.


William Ober was born May 15, 1920 in Boston, Massachusetts. He obtained him M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine in 1946.[1]

He became an attending pathologist at Beth Israel Hospital in New York, and a Clinical Professor of Pathology at New York Medical College. Ober cited in a 1977 Tobacco Institute statement called "Smoking and Health--The Counter-Evidence." He was quoted in a 3/26/1965 New York Herald Tribune article, "Cigarette Link to Cancer Not Proven, MDs testify" as saying, "the only really scientific statement one can make at the present time is that no one really knows was causes cancer." He added that the evidence that cigarette smoking does so "is rather weak," and he added that what he calls a "puritan school" among cancer specialists blames smoking, sex and the drinking of liquor for various forms of cancer. At that time, Dr. Ober was at the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York. He gave this testimony before a Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing for two proposed bills that would require health warnings on cigarette packages and in advertising. [Title: Cigarette Link To Cancer Not Proven, MDs Testify, Bates Number: 966021775, Page Count: 1, Collection: American Tobacco, URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wbr60a00].

On Feb. 28, 1967, in a press release, Dr. Ober praised Lloyd Mallan, the author of a new book entitled "IT IS SAFE TO SMOKE," saying the author "has a great deal of courage in presenting a point of view opposed to that promulgated by the Establishment." In the same statement, Dr. Ober said,

The psychology of the anti-tobacco faction is to be mistrusted. If they were really sincere in the belief that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, they should have demanded a bill prohibiting the manufacture, sale and distribution of cigarettes, not merely a puny labelling law.'

Dr. Ober gave a deposition that was 287 pages long on 10/6/87 for the case of Cipollone v. Liggett, et al.(PMI's Revised Initial Disclosure, June 27, 1996)

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