Sheldon Siegel was born in Minnesota in 1922. In 1941, just prior to entering the University of Minnesota Medical School, the US entered World War II. To continue in medical school, he enlisted in the US army as a private. During his junior year in medical school, Sheldon contracted tuberculosis and was hospitalized for six months.
He received his MD in 1945, and became a pediatric resident at Minnesota under Drs. Irvine McQuarrie and John Adams; Dr. Adams later became the founding Chair of Pediatrics at UCLA, serving from 1950-1964. Dr. Siegel then received Fellowship training in allergy at then University of Rochester under Dr. Jerome Glaser.
Dr. Siegel completed his military obligation by serving as Director of Pediatrics and Allergy at Lackland Air Force Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Upon discharge, Dr. Siegel was appointed as a National Consultant in Pediatrics and Allergy to the Surgeon General of the Air Force and as an Inspector General of the Air Force, and when on active duty, given the rank of Brigadier General.
In 1954, Dr. Siegel joined the Los Angeles Children’s Medical Group, a multi-specialty group founded by Dr. Arthur Moss, also of Minnesota. Dr. Moss later became the third chair of Pediatrics at UCLA, serving from 1967-1977. In 1973, Dr. Siegel founded the Allergy Medical Clinic in West Los Angeles.
While in private allergy practice, Dr. Siegel started the Pediatric Allergy Clinic a tHarbor General Hospital in 1954 and became the co-director of the Pediatric Allergy Clinic and Training Program at UCLA in 1957. From 1963 to the present, he has served as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA.
Dr. Siegel has served as Chair of the Section on Allergy of the American Academy of Pediatrics, President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), President of the National Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Co-chair of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and Chair of the Residency Review Committee for Allergy and Immunology. He has served on several editorial boards of national allergy and immunology journals.
Among Dr. Siegel’s awards include membership in the Sigma Xi Honor Society, the Clemens von Pirquet Memorial Lectureship, the Bret Ratner Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished Clinician Award, the Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award, and the Great Allergists award, all of AAAAI. In addition, there is a Sheldon C. Siegel Commemorative Lectureship held at the annual AAAAI meeting.
Dr. Siegel’s research included early work on the value of inhaled steroids in asthmatic children, permitting good control of their asthma without the complications of oral steroids. He has authored or co-authored over 100 articles, chapters, and monographs. Dr. Siegel has remained active in teaching and clinical research until his retirement in 2008.