Dr. Barry Massie

Dr. Barry Massie, a world renowned cardiologist, died on January 8th 2020 at a memory care facility in Belmont, CA. He was 76 years old. The cause of death was a decade long battle with dementia followed by a short bout of COVID-19. Dr. Massie was born in St. Louis, MO, obtained his undergraduate degree at Harvard, and trained at Bellevue Hospital in New York City (where he was chief resident) after graduating from Columbia University Medical School. He completed his fellowship in cardiology at University of California San Francisco and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco and became a professor of Cardiology at UCSF in 1977.

Dr. Massie was considered a leader in the field of cardiology and a global expert on the topic of heart failure. He wrote over 300 scholarly articles and 50 book chapters on the topic of heart failure. At various points in his career he was the director of the Cardiac Care Unit and Heart Failure Program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, Professor at UCSF Department of Medicine, and Chief of Cardiology at the San Francisco VA. He was also a consultant to the FDA, President of the Heart Failure Association of America, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Heart Failure, and on the editorial boards of numerous other cardiology journals. He retired in October 2013, having been awarded the Barnwell Award by the Veterans Administration for outstanding achievements in clinical research.

From a young age, Dr. Massie was interested in travel and adventure. With his wife of 40+ years, Ellen, he traveled to dozens of countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Ethiopia, Nepal, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, France, Spain, England, the USSR, and Portugal. He climbed to the top of Mt. Rainier, climbed the highest mountains in Bhutan when he was 64, and visited Machu Picchu. He was also a devoted poker player with a group of long time friends in the Bay Area, and was a life-long St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Dr. Massie is predeceased by his wife, Ellen (from whom he separated in 2006 but maintained a close friendship), and by his parents, Dr. Edward and Mrs. Felice Massie. He is survived by his brother, Dr. Henry Massie of Berkeley CA, his two daughters, Jennifer Massie (Eric Sage ) of San Leandro CA and Rebecca Massie (Christopher Laddish) of San Francisco CA, by his grandson, Eli Massie-Sage, and by many professional colleagues and close friends all over the world. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Physicians for a National Health Plan and Doctors Without Borders/MSF. A memorial service will be held at a later date (for details, contact [email protected]).