Daniel Harvey Adler, M.D., a beloved local physician who delivered thousands of babies over four decades serving Westport and Weston, died of natural causes at his home in Weston Dec. 2, 2012, his wife Susan Adler said. He was 92 years old.
Dr. Adler was a pioneer in his field. He was an early practitioner of the use of midwives in deliveries and in-office procedures like laparoscopy. An outspoken advocate of women’s reproductive rights, he provided pro bono care to indigent patients in Norwalk while operating a private OBGYN practice in Westport, CT, from 1954 until 1985. Dr. Adler was named the first Chairman of the OBGYN department at Norwalk in 1980, a post he held until 1985. During that time, he helped establish an exchange between Norwalk Hospital and Yale University, and through that served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale. He later worked in an administrative role at Norwalk Hospital and for the OBGYN department at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport until retiring in 2000 at the age of 80.
Dr. Adler was remarkably well read on all manner of current events, politics and academic subjects, and he was known for having a razor-sharp wit and sense of humor. His interest in national and global affairs led to friendships with journalists Harry Reasoner and Gordon Manning, as well as others in film, science and other non-medical fields. He was a passionate supporter of the Democratic Party and served on the Weston Democratic Town Committee. He hosted Presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy in his home and met with Democratic Presidential hopefuls George McGovern and Sargent Shriver when they visited Westport. At 92, he reveled in the recent victory of President Obama.
Dr. Adler was born in Brooklyn on August 3, 1920. He attended the University of Arizona, where he won a letter running varsity track, and he earned a Bachelor’s degree at New York University and his MD at NYU College of Medicine. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army in the Medical Corps from 1943 to 1948 and was posted at the 97th General Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany. He did his Internship and Residency at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital and went into private practice in Brooklyn with his father, also an OBGYN, in 1950, before starting his own practice in Connecticut in 1954.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Buckley Adler, whom he married in 1964, sons from a previous marriage Andrew Adler and Roger Adler of Hartford, adopted son William Adler of Westport, and three grandchildren, Reid, Zachary and Amanda Adler. An adopted daughter, Felicity Adler, died in 1989.
Final arrangements will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his honor to Planned Parenthood or the Weston (CT) Volunteer Emergency Medical Services.