Dr. Jonathan E. Zucker, Authoritative Voice on Daily Pollen, Passes Away
Allergist Jonathan E. Zucker, who for years was the authoritative voice giving the region’s daily pollen count on radio and television for Washington, D.C., died of a heart attack Dec. 27, while vacationing in La Quinta, Calif., where he and his wife Kitty Kelley spent recent winters. Zucker, who was a longtime resident of Georgetown, was 70.
Dr. Zucker, who was board certified in allergy and immunology and pediatrics, grew up in patrician surroundings on Fifth Avenue in New York City, but intentionally established his medical practice in Upper Marlboro, Md., reaching traditionally undeserved areas.
He was born in New York City on March 15, 1941, and was the salutatorian of New York’s Riverdale Country Day School in 1958. He attended Yale University for two years before transferring to Columbia University, where he graduated in 1962 and completed medical school in 1966. He was an intern, resident and chief resident of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City and served at the Bureau of Radiological Health in Washington, D.C., as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service.
He completed a fellowship in pediatric allergy and immunology at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., before joining the long-standing Washington, D.C., pediatric practice of Dr. Ewell Black. He went into solo practice in 1973 for 35 years in Prince George’s County, retiring in 2008.
For years, Dr. Zucker recorded a daily report on WTOP radio and television on the pollen levels in Washington, D.C., information that was crucial to the region’s thousands of allergy sufferers. Dr. Zucker was an enthusiast of sports, wine and good food. He was the president of the D.C. chapter of the International Wine and Food Society, a gastronomic society founded in 1933. He hosted many gatherings at Washington area restaurants with society members to sample unusual menus and vintages.
Survivors include his wife, author Kitty Kelley, whom he married in 1991; a son, Jeremy Zucker and daughter-in-law Gretchen Zucker; a daughter, Amanda Bowker, and son-in-law David Bowker, and four grandchildren, Eli, Eve, Jonah and Vivian, all of Washington, D.C., and a sister, Jane Zucker, of St. Anselmo, Calif. An earlier marriage to Nancy Baum ended in divorce.
Memorial services will be held Jan. 1 in La Quinta, Calif., and at a later date in Washington, D.C. The family asks that any contributions in Dr. Zucker’s memory be directed to D.C. Public Library Foundation, 901 G St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20001; DCPLFoundation.org.