Frederick D. and J. Leon Lascoff Papers, 1907-1970

J. Leon Lascoff

J. Leon Lascoff was born in Vilna, Russia, on August 28, 1867, the son of David and Anna (nee Reiser) Lascoff. He was a Russian Jewish immigrant who came to the United States in 1892. Upon Lascoff's arrival in the U.S., he took a position as a chemist and pharmacist with David Hayes & Son from 1892-97 and was in charge of the prescription and tablet department at Merck & Company from 1897 to 1898. Educated in Europe and the United States, Lascoff received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the New Jersey College of Pharmacy in 1914, and his Doctor of Science degree in 1938 from Temple University. Lascoff was to become a highly respected pharmacist who labored in the field for over fifty years. In 1899 he opened a drugstore which eventually became known as J. Lascoff & Son Apothecary on Lexington Avenue in New York City. In 1896 Lascoff married Clara Joachismon and they had one son, Frederick Dudley Lascoff who was born in 1900.

The elder Lascoff earned many professional awards, his greatest achievement being the Remington Medal that was awarded in 1937. Lascoff also served on many pharmaceutical committees and advisory boards. Among his professional affiliations were the New York State Board of Pharmacy (first appointed in 1910, he was reappointed nine times and served several terms as president), the New York County and Local Branch of the American Pharmaceutical Association (president in 1911), New York State Pharmaceutical Association (honorary president in 1936), United States Pharmacopoeia Revision Committee, National Association Boards of Pharmacy (honorary president in 1940), U.S.P. and N.F. Propaganda Committee (chairman from 1914-1943), the College of Pharmacy at Columbia University, and the American Pharmaceutical Association (president, 1938-39, and chairman of the recipe committee, 1929-1941), and the National Prescription Plan Board. One of Lascoff's greatest achievements was participation in the founding of the American College of Apothecaries in 1940. His civic affiliations included the Lion's Club, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, the Masons, the Grand Street Boys, the Drug, Chemical and Allied Trades Section of the New York Board of Trade, and the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce.

Both the elder Lascoff and his son devoted their careers to enhancing the professional status of pharmacy. In over 200 speeches J. Leon Lascoff expounded on his professional philosophy (sometimes referred by their series title, “It Can Be Done”) to various schools of pharmacy and other organizations. Lascoff also was the editor of “Prescription Problems” in the Drug Topics section of Pharmacy & Science.

J. Leon Lascoff died May 4, 1943. In 1946 the American College of Apothecaries memorialized him by establishing the J. Leon Lascoff Award.