James “Jim” Simon, Advanced Endodontics program director and the Wayne G. and Margaret L. Bemis Professor of Endodontics at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, died on Feb. 3. He was 78.
A Boston native, Simon attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. After receiving his bachelor’s in biology from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, he spent the next four years pursuing his DDS degree at Temple University School of Dentistry (now the Kornberg School of Dentistry) in Philadelphia.
Following dental school, Simon spent two years at Boston University’s School of Medicine, where he studied oral pathology and endodontics with Henry Goldman, Kurt Thoma and Herb Schilder. For the next three years, Simon was engaged in a private practice in Quincy, Mass., where he limited his practice to endodontics.
Simon later joined the Veterans Administration in White River, Vermont, treating endodontic cases. He also served as a research associate at Dartmouth Medical School (now the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth).
In 1968, Simon joined the VA Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., where he launched the center’s first endodontic residency program. For the next 32 years, Simon served as director of the program, mentoring and training more than 60 residents.
During that same period, Simon also held a part-time teaching position at the Ostrow School, where he taught alongside Al Frank, Dudley Glick, John Ingle, among others.
In 1974, he joined the faculty at Loma Linda School of Dentistry as a part-time faculty member. In July 2001, Simon was recruited to USC and began serving as professor of clinical dentistry and director of the Advanced Endodontics program. During that time, he mentored and trained more than 110 advanced endodontic residents.
Simon was a diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics (ABE), president of the College of Diplomates of ABE, director and president of ABE, fellow of the American College of Dentists and fellow of the International College of Dentists. In addition, he was a member of several prestigious dental organizations and held leadership positions in the American Association of Endodontists (AAE).
Simon published extensively in dental and endodontic literature, and in 2005 he received the Louis I. Grossman Award from AAE. The award is given to an author for cumulative publication of significant research studies that have made an extraordinary contribution to the field.
An international authority in endodontics, Simon lectured extensively at universities and professional meetings in the United States and throughout the world.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Helen; children Jeffrey, Linda and David; and grandchildren Alexis, Morgan, Jake, Jordan and Jason.
A memorial service will be held today at 2 p.m. at Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary (3500 Pacific View Dr., Corona Del Mar, 92625).