Leonard Shlain


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Leonard Shlain (August 28, 1937 – May 11, 2009) was an American surgeon, author, and inventor. He was chairperson of laparoscopic surgery at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and was an associate professor of surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.

His books include Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light (1991), The Alphabet Versus the Goddess (1998), Sex, Time and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution (2003), and Leonardo's Brain: Understanding da Vinci's Creative Genius (2014).

Shlain was a native of Detroit who graduated from high school at the age of 15. After attending the University of Michigan, he earned an MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine at the age of 23. He served in the United States Army as a military base doctor in Saumur, France. Prior to his internship at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion in San Francisco, he worked for a short time at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. He also contributed to the Academic Press' Encyclopedia of Creativity (1999), edited by Mark Runco and Steven Pritzker.

Shlain had three children with Carole Lewis Jaffe: Kimberly Brooks (who is married to actor/comedian Albert Brooks), Jordan L. Shlain, and Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, and founder of the Webby Awards. After he and Carole divorced, Shlain met and married his second wife, Superior Court Judge Ina Levin Gyemant. They lived in Mill Valley, California, where he died on May 11, 2009 (at age 71) after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. The film Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology (2011), directed by Shlain's daughter Tiffany, is in part a portrait of him.

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Leonardo’s Brain

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