1972-1976 Fathollah Keshvar ‘Kash’ Mostofi, USA (Iran)

1972-1976 Fathollah Keshvar ‘Kash’ Mostofi 1911-2003

Fathollah Keshvar ‘Kash’ Mostofi


IAP President 1972-1976

Born 10 August 1911 in Teheran, Iran (Persia as he liked to call it.) and died 6 April 2003 in Washington DC. Kash Mostofi graduated MD from the Harvard Medical School, Boston in 1939. He had a number of training appointments in pathology and then in 1947 he moved to Washington where he stayed for the rest of his life. Appropriately he died in a hospital near the hotel in which the annual meeting of the USCAP was being held in Washington in 2003. This highly successful meeting, the biggest gathering of anatomic pathologists in the world, brought together over 3,000 delegates from over 50 countries. He could be proud to claim that he had done more than anyone else to make this possible. The meeting was held in the hotel (much enlarged over the past 27 years) in which Kash presided over the great International Congress of the IAP in 1976, the last year of his Presidency. This meeting culminated the organization of the IAP which he had played such a big role in resurrecting from the dying embers of the IAMM.

As Head of Urologic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC from 1948-2003 he became the world’s leading expert in the field of genitourinary pathology. He authored over 200 articles and 15 books on genitourinary pathology, and has had five books dedicated to him. He welcomed numerous students from all over the world to the AFIP, and traveled extensively. It has been said that, ‘in comparison with all other pathologists in the world, Kash Mostofi was the one most likely to be recognized on sight by his fellow pathologists.’

He was Head, WHO International Reference Center for Urological Tumors from 1965. His classifications of testicular tumors, and of tumors of the urinary bladder, prostate and kidney were adopted by the WHO and translated into many languages. As Secretary of the International Council of Societies of Pathology, he organized the distribution of teaching aids prepared by the WHO and other organizations to national pathology societies throughout the world, and assisted the WHO in selecting participants in various organ-site programs for their International Histological Classification of Tumors. In 1952 he took over the floundering IAMM and developed it into the IAP. In addition to developing the Academy’s first post graduate education program for physicians (which anticipated by almost 20 years the current interest in postgraduate education of physicians), he served as its Secretary-Treasurer from 1954-1970 (six terms!) His energy and strength, enthusiasm, knowledge, experience, and direction provided the touch to make the IAP what it is today. During his eighteen years as Secretary-Treasurer, the character of the Academy emerged as the pattern of a Persian rug emerges from its myriad details. Perhaps recollecting how a whole village together worked to make a beautiful rug, he worked indefatigably with many others, and they fashioned the IAP as it grew up from the old IAMM.

At the Annual Meeting of the IAP in 1953 he introduced a new approach to an in-depth study of one organ, in this case--the kidney. The embryology, anatomy, physiology and pathology were presented by a number of speakers. This format was an immediate success, and became the model for the ‘Long Course’ which has been so popular at the IAP and USCAP meetings ever since. He also introduced the ‘kidney nights’ (the beginning of the evening Specialty Conferences at the IAP/USCAP Annual Meetings.)

He as a member of the Executive International Steering Committee along with George Cunningham and others engineered the constitutional establishment of the USCAP as separate from the IAP. He saw the IAP in its present form come into being in 1970 when George Cunningham became IAP President a process which culminated at the International Congress in Washington DC in 1976, at the end of his own second two year term as President. For his efforts on behalf of the IAMM/IAP/USCAP he received a Gold Medallion from the USCAP, the only one ever presented. The USCAP established an F.K.Mostofi Award for Distinguished Service, and the 93rd Annual Meeting (2004) of the USCAP was dedicated to his memory. In the 1950’s he played a pivotal role in the study of human factors in aircraft accidents. Together with British and Canadian experts, he organized the First International Symposium on the subject and helped create the Joint Committee on Aviation Pathology, serving as Secretary of the Committee from 1954-1960. This committee led to the designing of a wide-ranging program for comprehensive examination of aircraft accidents and to formalizing the collection of information for aircraft safety.

Kash was an advisor and consultant to many organizations including the International Agency for Cancer Research, the WHO, the International Union Against Cancer, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Pan American Health Organization. In 1982 he received the Distinguished Executive Rank Award from the US President Ronald Reagan. He also received the Presidential Honor Award from the American Urologic Association and the Presidential Award from the American Foundation for Urologic Diseases. Kash was the architect of the International Society of Urologic Pathology, and its founding President. His last publication was an Editorial in Human Pathology (34:203) entitled ‘The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Jeopardy - Who Should Care?’

As Dr. William Gardner quotes Sir Christopher Wren’s epitaph: ‘Lector, Sin Monumentum Requiris Circumspice’

(Reader, if you seek his monument, look about you). He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.

Information courtesy of Drs. William Gardner and Isabell Sesterhenn, and photo courtesy of Isabell.