August 25, 1943 – June 4, 2020
Dear friends and colleagues:
I regret to share with all of you that Howard Snyder left us on Thursday morning June 4th. We are all sad. Howard taught us, advanced us and protected us. We loved him.
We loved him because he had unusual skill. He shared that skill selflessly with all of us. He had a large and relentless sense of mission that made us at CHOP and elsewhere so much better. He had unlimited kindness that he showed to everyone.
He meant a great deal to all of us. He was a giant. And we will miss him.
Dr. Snyder was proud of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his leadership role that he played.
As a surgeon Dr. Snyder constantly refined his selection of each instrument. He placed each suture carefully to save time without sacrificing precision.
As an advocate for his tiny patient, for his colleague, and for whatever cause he believed was right, he was relentless.
As a teacher, he was known to his students as a friend, as a demanding mentor who always knew how to inspire them to get more out of themselves than even they knew possible.
In the operating room, his students remember him for his ability to break the most complex surgery down to hundreds of steps, and his ability to talk throughout an entire eight hour case seemingly without ever stopping for breath. And generations of surgeons call him their mentor.
Howard’s teaching did not stop at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Howard traveled to more than 140 invited lectureships and 42 visiting professorships in 19 countries on five continents. So many of you he befriended at countless meetings, programs and committees. He was fond of each of you.
Through all this travel, Howard never lost his affection for England. In 2002, Howard was awarded the St. Paul’s medal, an award only occasionally presented by the British Association of Urologic Surgeons to a non-British colleague for contributions to British Urology.
In 2013, Dr. Snyder was awarded the Urology Medal from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Urology.
Read more about Dr. Snyder's life and legacy.
By Douglas A. Canning
Chief of the Division of Urology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia