Abraham T. K. Cockett, M.D.
Abraham T. K. Cockett, M.D., former chair of the Department of Urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, died August 16 in Logan, Utah. He had Alzheimer's disease for several years. Dr. Cockett was 82.
“Abe Cockett was a prolific writer, researcher, organizer, and all around unique individual. The urologic community has lost a giant and an incredibly talented individual,” wrote Ronald Rabinowitz, M.D., professor of urology at the Medical Center, and Irwin N. Frank, M.D., professor emeritus, in a memoriam for the American Urological Association News.
A native of Hawaii and one of 12 children, Dr. Cockett put himself through Brigham Young University on a basketball scholarship. He earned his medical degree at the University of Utah in 1954. He completed his urology residency at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. After serving two years as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Los Angeles as chief of urology at Harbor General Hospital. He also became an associate professor at UCLA.
In 1969, he was recruited to Rochester as professor and chair of the Division of Urology. In 1983, under his leadership, the division achieved departmental status. He remained chair of the department until 1995, but continued as professor until his retirement in 1999. He trained more than 50 residents.
A tireless researcher and academician, he authored or co-authored more than 400 publications. He had a truly international reputation. He traveled the world over and gave more than 70 visiting professorships and lectureships. Dr. Cockett had close international relationships throughout the world and established the Andrology Clinic at Riyadh Central Hospital in Saudi Arabia in 1979.
In 1994, he served as president of the American Urological Association.
“He was competitive in everything he did, and those of us who played tennis with or against him quickly realized this truth,” wrote Rabinowitz and Frank. “Always the gentleman, at the end of the match, he would pat the losing opponent on the back while repeating his familiar refrain, ‘Good game. It could have gone either way.’ You knew that it only went his way.”
Dr. Cockett and his wife, Willia, retired to Park City, Utah, but they also built a home in Waianae, Hawaii. They divided their time between the two homes.
In addition to his wife of 60 years, Dr. Cockett is survived by his three children, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
The family asks that any donations be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.