Dr. Howard Beye Hamilton was born in Oak Park Illinois on December 4, 1918. He graduated from the University of Rochester in New York in 1941 and from Yale University School of Medicine in 1945. Hamilton served in the United States Navy from 1942-1945, during World War II. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Hamilton conducted research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, the Long Island School of Medicine, the New York College of Surgeons, and the University of Tokyo in Japan.
In 1956 Dr. Hamilton moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he lived for the next thirty years. After his move to Japan, Hamilton served as the Chief of Clinical Laboratories for the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) from 1956 until its dissolution in 1975. Hamilton worked in the same capacity for the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), which succeeded the ABCC, until 1984. Between 1984 and 1986 Dr. Hamilton began transitioning into retirement; he continued to work as a consultant for the RERF during this time.
Dr. Hamilton was a consummate scholar and published extensively thoughout his career. Hamilton published papers on topics including endocrinology, steroid chemistry, enzyme kinetics, hemoglobinopathies, the structure and function of hemoglobin, genetic polymorphisms, biochemical genetics, the long term after-effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and epidemiology of cardio-vascular disease.
Dr. Hamilton's hobbies included playing tennis and practicing the Japanese theatrical art of Noh, which features dramatic masks and carefully defined movements. After his retirement, Dr. Hamilton catalogued Noh and Kabuki works and published Noh plays. In some circles, Dr. Hamilton was known as much for his enthusiastic patronage and participation in Noh as he was for his work with the ABCC and RERF. (Source: Washington Post, May 9, 2007)
Dr. Hamilton died on May 9, 2007 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia. He was 88 years old.