Ron Sable

From KeyWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ron Sable

Ron Sable, M.D., Assistant Director of the Cook County HIV Primary Care Center, Attending Physician, Department of Medicine, Cook County Hospital, died from AIDS on December 30, 1993. He was 48 years old.

Ron Sable is survived by his life partner, Jose Narvaez; his two sons, John Gabriel Fagan and Matthew Gagnon; his mother, Barbara Sable; and his sister, Cindy Weinstein.[1]


In the late 1960s Ron Sable served as a medic in Vietnam. He later studied medicine at the University of Missouri, coming to Chicago in 1976 to intern at Cook County hospital.[2]

Ron Sable spent his entire medical career at Chicago's Cook County Hospital. He did his residency training in Internal Medicine from 1976-1981, and became an attending physician in the Department of Medicine in 1981. Ron sable devoted his time at the hospital to the clinics and spent many years at the Cermak Health Services of the Cook County Jail.

For Ron, there was no distinction between his medical career in the public sector and his political activism. He was a tireless advocate for health care as a human right. He was an advocate for the rights of the medically underserved, whether gay or lesbian, people of color, women and children, injection drug users, Vietnam veterans, or the 40 million Americans without health insurance.[3]

Medical activism

sable spent his last years as the President of the Illinois Chapter and the National Policy Strategist for Quentin Young's Physicians for a National Health Plan. Until the last two months of his life, he "traveled around the country, organizing physicians toward a single payer system of health care in the United States".

Sable was a leader in Chicago in the fight against AIDS. In 1983, he co-founded the Sable/Sherer Clinic at Cook County Hospital for the care and research of HIV disease. In 1984, Dr. Sable established the AIDS Prevention Service for education and prevention at Cook County Hospital. In 1986, he co-founded the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, on which he was a Member of the Board of Directors until his death. In 1989, Dr. Sable co-founded the Chicago Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS with support from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Sable became the Assistant Director of the Cook County HIV Primary Care Center when it was established in 1992.[4]

Anti racism

Dr. Sable "fought against racism throughout his life". He was among the many supporters of the broad, multi-racial coalition spearheaded by the late Harold Washington.[5]

Social activism

Ron Sable was a Board Member for 10 years of the Crossroads Fund and the Illinois Public Action Coalition. He served as a medic in Vietnam in 1969-1970, and he was an active advocate for the rights of Vietnam veterans throughout his career.[6]

Gay rights

During his life, he was a fierce advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians. In 1987, he became the first openly gay candidate for alderman in Chicago's 44th Ward. He narrowly lost to the incumbent. Although a second campaign in 1991 was also unsuccessful, he never felt defeated. After the first campaign, he founded IMPACT, a political action committee for the advancement of gay and lesbian issues. He was also an advocate for the rights of all women to freedom of reproductive choice.[7]

New American Movement

In the late 1970's, Ron became an Associate Member of the New American Movement. While he was not active in the day to day doings of the organization, he was a generous supporter. When the New American Movement merged with the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, Ron Sable became a charter member of the new organization, Democratic Socialists of America. He was instrumental in forming Chicago DSA's Gay and Lesbian Branch and continued his generous support of the organization.[8]

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Ron Sable was a Chicago delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[9]


In 1988, Dr Ron Sable served on the Board of Directors[10]of PROCAN (Progressive Chicago Area Network), an oganization which included several other prominent Democratic Socialists of America members, including Alderman Danny K Davis and Roberta Lynch.

Tribute to Golub and Montgomery

On November 16, 1989, Ron Sable was listed as a friend of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Tribute to Leon Golub and Lucy Montgomery, held at the Congress Hotel, Chicago.[11]

DSA Health care pamphlet

In 1990, Democratic Socialists of America produced a pamphlet "Health Care for People Not Profit, the Need for a National Health Care System". Quotes were included from Barbara Ehrenreich, Ron Dellums, Gerry Hudson, Linnea Capps MD (Chair of APHA Socialist Caucus and Ron Sable.[12]

Chicago New Party

Madeline Talbott of ACORN was one of the key early organizers of the Chicago New Party.

She wrote a progress report on August 12 1992 which detailed meetings with Joe Gardner, Jackie Grimshaw (Deputy City Treasurer), Jim Pena (Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal), lawyer Paul Strauss, Frank Rosen (Labor Party Advocates), Connie Hall (IVI - IPO), Greg LeRoy and Lisa Oppenheim, (both Midwest Center for Labor Research). All were supportive.

She was also looking forward to meeting Ron Sable and Dan Swinney and reported that in May Dan Cantor held a New Party fund raising meeting in the Chicago home of Quentin Young, "with half a dozen good people present".[13]

Progressive Chicago

In late 1993 Progressive Chicago letters were always signed by 17 people;[14]

"Raise Hell with Chicago Democratic Socialists"

In 1992, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America members published a six-page leaflet, "Raise Hell with Chicago Democratic Socialists", welcoming progressives into membership. It features comments by United Steelworkers leader Ed Sadlowski; Dr. Ron Sable, the Illinois chair of the Physicians for a National Health Plan; Vicki Starr, who appeared in the film Union Maids; political scientist Jane Mansbridge;and theologians Rosemary Reuther and Michael Eric Dyson.[15]

"Single payer" book

A book, "Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured A Better-Quality Alternative: Single-Payer National Health System Reform" was released in 1994 by the Physicians for a National Health Program Quality of Care Working Group, Contributors included;

Gordon Schiff; Andrew Bindman; Troyen Brennan; Thomas Bodenheimer; Carolyn Clancy; Oliver Fein; Ida Hellander; David Himmelstein; Linda Rae Murray; T. Donald Rucker; Ron Sable; Jeffrey Scavron; Ronald Shansky; Ellen Shaffer; David Slobodkin; Steve Tarzynski; Steffie Woolhandler; Quentin Young.



  2. Chicago Tribune Jan 1 1994, Section 1, page 25
  9. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  10. PROCAN meeting notification letter April 27 1988
  11. Tribute to Golub and Montgomery: Program, Nov. 16, 1989
  12. Democratic Left, November/December, 1990, page 4
  13. Madeline Talbott, Chicago NP report August 12, 1992
  14. Progressive Chicago letterheads November 5 and December 31, 1993
  15. Dem. Left, Jan./Feb. 1993. page 9