On February 6, 2024, family, friends and the community of Dr. Edward N. Ehrlich bid farewell to a beloved and distinguished figure whose life’s work spanned the worlds of military service and medical scholarship. Born in 1928 and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Ehrlich graduated from Central High School in 1944. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 1948 and his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1952.
Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Ehrlich was called up for military service after joining the Naval Reserve. His leadership, curiosity, and spirit of adventure led him to join an Antarctic expedition known as “Operation Deep Freeze,” in preparation for the International Geophysical Year 1957. Determined to be better equipped for the isolated Antarctic outpost, he arranged to work in the Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island where he learned surgical skills and even dabbled in dentistry, anticipating the challenges he might face. Lieutenant Commander Ehrlich served as the medical officer at Little America V on the Ross Ice Shelf from 1955-57. There, he provided critical medical care and support to the team of explorers and researchers. Throughout his illustrious medical career, he continued to share his experiences as a member of the Antarctic Deep Freeze Association, dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. Antarctic Program.
After the military, he completed his residency and joined the faculty as a tenured Professor of Medicine specializing in Endocrinology at the University of Chicago. In 1974, he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty as Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and headed the Division of Endocrinology. During his career, he was instrumental in pioneering research on hypertension and hormonal regulation in pregnancy, significantly advancing the field. Dr. Ehrlich’s legacy includes the establishment of the Great People Scholarship at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, a tribute to his mentorship. He was recognized as one of Madison Magazine’s Top Doctors in 1993, underscoring his excellence in patient care. He also served as the President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Diabetes Association from 1996-1998.
Dr. Ehrlich’s life was richly woven with pursuits beyond medicine. He had a knack for storytelling, coupled with a passion for photography, classical music, culinary arts, travel, and politics. He enjoyed canoeing, fishing, camping, and the tranquility of Wisconsin’s Northwoods with his family and friends.
Dr. Ehrlich leaves behind his wife Rosanne, brother David, children Lisa (John DeAguiar), Joel (Melanie Cohen), and Janet Ehrlich Colson (Mark), along with seven grandchildren who will always remember his wit, patience, intellect, and warmth.
A funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 am on Friday, February 9, 2024, at Cress Funeral Home, Madison, Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers, Gifts in memory of Dr. Edward N. Ehrlich may be made payable to the “UW Foundation” with a note to direct as a tribute to the "Dr. Edward N. Ehrlich Great People Scholarship Fund #132587461." Mail to UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox Box 78807 Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807