Leon R. Kass, M.D., is the Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago. He was the chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005. He has been engaged for more than 40 years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advances and, more recently, with broader moral and cultural issues. His most recent book, What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song, seeks to promote American identity, character and citizenship. Along with co-editors Amy Kass and Diana Schaub, Dr. Kass is presently working to expand this project by creating video discussions and curricula materials that demonstrate how short stories can be used to enhance our understanding of the Meaning of America.


  • Member, 2005-2007; Chairman, 2002-2005, President’s Council on Bioethics
  • Senior Fellow, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago, 1991-2001
  • Senior Fellow and Associate Director, John M. Olin Center for Inquiry into the Theory and Practice of Democracy, University of Chicago, 1986-2001
  • Professor, The College and the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, 1976-2001
  • W. H. Brady Jr. Distinguished Fellow, AEI, 1991-92, 1998-99
  • Member, Vice-Chairman, and Committee Chairman, National Council on the Humanities/National Endowment for the Humanities, 1984-91
  • Research Professor in Bioethics, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, 1974-76
  • Tutor, St. John’s College, 1972-76
  • Executive Secretary, Committee on the Life Sciences and Social Policy, National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, 1970-72
  • Staff Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 1967-70
  • Surgeon, U.S. Public Health Service, 1967-69
  • Intern, Beth Israel Hospital, 1962-63


Ph.D, biochemistry, Harvard University
M.D., honors; B.S., biology, honors, University of Chicago