Mendel Sachs

Mendel Sachs, a retired physics professor at the University at Buffalo and former Lab scientist, died May 5 at his home in Williamsville, New York. He was 85.

Born in Portland, Ore., he served stateside in the Navy aboard a ship based in San Francisco during World War II. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees all from the University of California, Los Angeles.

He later held positions as a research scientist at LLNL and at Lockheed.

Sachs taught at San Jose State College in California. He also taught physics at Boston University from 1962 to 1966. Prior to that, he was an associate professor at McGill University in Montreal from 1961 to 1962.

In 1966, Sachs moved to the Buffalo area, where he was a professor of physics at the University of Buffalo until his retirement in May 1997.

Sachs was the author of 13 books and hundreds of published articles. He was a theoretical physicist whose main focus was general relativity and its relation to elementary particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, as well as the philosophy of physics.

He was a highly respected, yet unconventional, figure in the international physics community. He was a highly sought-after lecturer, and he was invited to speak, teach and share his theories and ideas at many of the world's most prestigious academic institutions.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Yetty; three sons, Robert, Daniel and Michael; and a daughter, Carolyn Brothers.

A funeral service was held May 7 in Buffalo.