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An expert in infectious disease

OBITUARIES / Passings / John M. Leedom

July 19, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

John M. Leedom, 74, an infectious-disease expert who taught at USC's Keck School of Medicine for 40 years, died June 27 of a heart attack while visiting Australia, the university announced.

Leedom was attending physician for medicine and communicable diseases at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center from 1965 to 2002, and chief of the division of infectious diseases there from 1975 to 2002. Much of his work was focused on stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and, beginning in the early '80s, battling the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

As director of the Multidisciplinary AIDS Clinic and the AIDS Service beginning in 1985, Leedom led efforts to test many of the drugs used to treat the disease, according to USC.

Born Oct. 18, 1933, in Peoria, Ill., Leedom earned bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Illinois. He began teaching at USC in 1962 and retired in 2002.

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