“Is this the famous author, Mary K. Doyle,” my friend, Herb (Herbert Sohn, M.D.), would lovingly ask every time he called me? Herb made me feel important, special. But I knew that I wasn’t the only one. He spoke with everyone like that.
Herb was the epitome of a mentoring hero. He knew where people excelled and how to put them in positions to do just that. He was the great connector, matching people who could assist each other in growing personally and professionally while making the world better. And once he lit a fire beneath someone, they’d want to do what they could to prove him right and make him proud.
When I wrote my first book, Mentoring Heroes, Herb suggested several professional women to highlight. And when that book, as well as Navigating Alzheimer’s, were published, he promoted the books by telling everyone who’d listen about them and handing out copies. He continued to push me to write and get the word out on topics dear to his heart. I knew when he’d call he’d want an accounting of what I’d been working on and what I planned to do.
Herb, passed away on June 7, 2019 at the age of 92. He practiced medicine as a urologist at the University of Chicago-Weiss Hospital for almost 60 years and was one of the founding members of the Strauss Surgical Group. He also had a law degree.
With a strong sense of duty and commitment, Herb enlisted in the US Navy at 17. He was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Facility, north of Chicago, a time memorialized in the documentary “Heroes on Deck: World War II on Lake Michigan.” Additionally, he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
Some of his many positions included President of the Chicago Urological Association, President of the Illinois State Urological Association, and President of the American Association of Clinical Urologists. He was an active member of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Bar Association, the Illinois Republican Party, and many other civic and professional organizations.
Herb is survived by his devoted partner of 12 years, Kathleen (Kitty) Martin, his brother, Bernard, his two children, Andrew (Carolyn McNiven) and Douglas (Barbara Tyksinski), and two grandchildren, Charles and James, and step-grandchildren Lauren, Sharon and Abby.
( “Bring in the Dogs“ is Bradley International Airport’s answer to reducing traveler anxiety: )