Dr. Bernard S. Kleiman, who led the ear, nose and throat department at St. Joseph Hospital for 35 years, died Tuesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, at his home on Gristmill Court in Pikesville.
Dr. Kleiman, who was 79, started practicing at St. Joseph in Towson in the late 1940s and was chief of the ear, nose and throat department from 1950 until 1985. He was president of the medical staff from 1979 until 1981.
He fully retired from the practice of medicine in 1992.
In the early 1960s, he was a pioneer in Baltimore in the use of a surgical procedure to replace the stapes, or stirrup bone, one of three bones that conduct sound vibrations through the middle ear, with a piece of plastic.
The operation, done with the aid of a binocular microscope, restored or improved hearing by allowing the three bones that had been frozen by bone-like growth at the stapes to move freely again.
Dr. Kleiman, who was a licensed pilot, was president of the Baltimore County Medical Society in 1987 and was a member of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland.
Born in Baltimore, he was a graduate of City College, the Johns Hopkins University and, in 1939, of the University of Maryland Medical School.
After an internship at St. Joseph, he had residencies at Washington University Hospital in St. Louis and at Queens General Hospital in New York City.
He began practicing at St. Joseph after service in the Army Medical Corps from 1945 until 1947.
Services were set for 2 p.m. today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Home, 6010 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore.
Dr. Kleiman is survived by his wife, the former Helen Baylin; a daughter, Suzanne E. Kleiman of San Francisco; two sons, Dr. Stephen E. Kleiman of Pikesville and Dr. Jeffrey A. Kleiman of Boston; three sisters, Toba Rochberg, Maxine Horwitz and Marcia Harris, all of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.