Dentist's Devotion Lives On

He was known as Ed "Serving with a Smile" Hyman.

The nickname speaks volumes about the 1938 UCSF School of Dentistry graduate. During his half century as a dentist, he gave endlessly of his time, skills and organizational wizardry – to the profession, his patients and his alma mater.

He wanted to keep giving, even after he was gone. A bequest of $1.5 million from Hyman and his wife, Reba, will endow a chair in the couple's memory at the School of Dentistry.

Hyman's desire to help may have been born during his hardscrabble days as a student in the Depression. "We were getting along on virtually nothing," he related in a 1987 interview with UCSF. "We did just about anything in order to be able to succeed."

That drive led to a thriving 51-year practice in San Francisco. He was also active in numerous dental groups, but his greatest efforts were devoted to the UCSF Dental Alumni Association. Not only did Hyman serve as president, he held every office in the association. "No member of our organization has served so unselfishly and so well…" read a dedication to Hyman from the association. In 1988 he was honored by the School of Dentistry with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Born and raised in Dinuba, a small town outside Fresno, Calif., Hyman married Reba Cardoza in 1942. They remained together 56 years until his death in 1998. Reba died in February 2008.

The Edwin J. and Reba C. Hyman Endowed Chair in Restorative Dentistry will enable the school to teach specialized classes in restorative dentistry and to work with the faculty to integrate their expertise into the curriculum.

Hyman's motivation for giving was simple, according to colleagues. He felt he must do what he could to help the profession that had been so good to him.

To contribute to the UCSF School of Dentistry, contact Christopher Ruetz at 415/476-3645 or