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Le Riche, William Harding
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Dates of existence
William Harding le Riche was born on March 21, 1916 in Dewetsdorp in the Orange Free State South Africa. He graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Witwatersrand in 1936 and received a Bachelor of Medicine (M.B.) and a Bachelor of Surgery (B. Ch.) in 1943 in the medical school in Johannesburg. In 1949, le Riche earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Witwatersrand for his thesis on studies in health growth and nutrition. During that same year, he also won a Rockefeller Fellowship to study at the Harvard School of Public Health where he finished a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in 1950. He moved to Canada in 1952 where he accepted a posting in the Department of National Health and Welfare. From 1952 to 1957, le Riche worked in Ottawa on the first Canadian sickness survey for the federal government.; and later, in Toronto with the Physicians’ Services Incorporated (PSI). In 1957, Dr. Andrew Rhodes, Director of the University of Toronto's School of Hygiene recruited le Riche. In 1962, le Riche became head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biometrics.
Dr. le Riche remained as head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biometrics at the University of Toronto until 1975. In 1982 he retired as professor of epidemiology in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Biostatistics, and was named professor emeritus.
Since his retirement, Dr. le Riche has continued to be active in the Canadian medical field. For example, in 1987 he took part in the review of communicable disease program for the Toronto Department of Public Health and served as an expert witness at the inquest into the E. coli deaths at the Extendicare Nursing Home in London, Ontario. His memoirs were published privately in 1993