Dr. Richard Rosenthal
Reserved and soft-spoken, he treated each Branford High School football injury over a span of 15 years as if one of his very own went down. Calm and reassuring, 2007 Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Richard Rosenthal became a very important member of the Branford athletic community, largely in part to his dedication, his medical knowledge, and his love for people and sports.
Born in Branford on August 22, 1914, Richard attended Branford High School from 1927 to 1930. He was the Class Valedictorian of his graduating class at the age of 15 and attended Yale University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1934. He received his M.D. degree from the Long Island College of Medicine in 1938 and his residency in pediatrics at Grasslands Hospital in Valhalla, New York and a residency in communicable diseases at the Willard Parker Hospital for Contagious Diseases in New York City. His training was completed just as the United States was entering the Second World War, and he enlisted in the Army a few months later. Richard was on active duty from July 1942 to April 1946 and he spent 22 months of that time in the Philippines and South Pacific as a surgeon and anesthetist with the 10th Medical Battalion of the 31st Infantry Division. He was discharged as a major and he was awarded the Bronze Arrowhead and two Bronze Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the American Service Medal.
After the war, tonight’s inductee joined the Branford medical practice of the late Dr. Dana Blanchard. As a general practitioner, Richard became the Branford High School football team’s physician. He served for many of Branford’s finest football coaches, including Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductees, Warren B. Sampson, Jr. (1992), Dominic Cote (1992), and Joe Farina (1993). Richard was on the team’s sideline during the 1958 season when the Hornets went undefeated (9-0) and won the Class M State title under the Dom Cote regime.
“We were very fortunate to have someone like Doctor Rosenthal on our sideline. He was very professional, a laid-back gentleman and his diagnoses were always reliable,” said Joe Farina, who was the Hornets coach from 1969 to 1978.
“He was the true definition of the word ‘gentleman’. Richard was a great humanitarian,” said Dom Cote.
Richard was a Board Member and longtime supporter of the Visiting Association. Following his retirement in 1980, he remained active in the medical profession as he participated in weekly rounds at Yale New Haven Hospital and for several years, he made monthly trips to Springfield, Massachusetts to perform physical exams for the Army.
Married to the former Jane Williams Driscoll for 31 years, Richard sadly passed away on January 2, 2007 at the age of 92.