In memory of Gilbert S. Kahn
Gilbert S. Kahn with one of his prize-winning Shih Tzu.
Gilbert S. Kahn, a long-time member of the School’s Board of Overseers, passed away suddenly on February 22, 2010 at the age of 81 at his home in Palm Beach, FL.
Mr. Kahn, a member of the Annenberg family, endowed the first deanship in veterinary medicine in 1993 when he established the Gilbert S. Kahn Deanship at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Gilbert was intensely proud of his distinctive relationship with the School,” said Dean Emeritus Alan Kelly, the first incumbent to bear his name. He had a great love of animals and was deeply interested in improving the health of dogs and supported many areas of canine research, particularly neurology.
Mr. Kahn also contributed generously to the Deubler Scholarship Fund and the Josephine Deubler Genetic Disease Testing Laboratory at the School. “Gilbert was such a devoted dog-lover and such an expert breeder that he seemed to embody an entire generation. As with losing Jo Deubler, my personal sadness is compounded by the sense that the dog world has lost a giant,” said Dean Joan Hendricks.
A breeder, owner and judge of show dogs, Mr. Kahn exhibited top-winning Shih Tzu that were multi-best in show winners and national specialty winners. Mr. Kahn also exhibited and bred Japanese Chins, Norwich Terriers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. He took great pride in the fact that his winning dogs were successful generation after generation and that some of the current winning Shih Tzu trace back to his winning dogs. He had a remarkable, encyclopedic memory of the breeding history of all these animals.
Mr. Kahn was an AKC-licensed judge for all toy breeds, a number of terrier and non-sporting breeds and Best in Show. He judged at the major dog shows in the United States, among them Westminster. He also judged in many other countries around the world including Crufts in the UK, the world’s largest dog show sponsored by The Kennel Club.
Mr. Kahn was an avid collector of dog paintings and sculptures. At the time of his death he served as the chairman of the board of the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, Missouri.
Gilbert Kahn will be fondly remembered at the School and our Deans will proudly carry his name far into the future.