Cyril Legum (July 15, 1932 – March 2, 2014): A Pioneer in Genetics

Cyril Legum (July 15, 1932 – March 2, 2014): A Pioneer in Genetics -

Cyril Legum, a pediatrician and geneticist, held the esteemed position of Professor of Genetics at Tel Aviv University's School of Medicine. For 28 years, he served as the founding director of the Genetics Institute within the municipal hospitals of Tel Aviv, including Hadassah, Bikur Holim, and Ichilov. Legum was a pioneering figure in the field of genetics in Israel.


Legum was born in 1932 in South Africa. In 1958, he completed his medical studies in Johannesburg. He immigrated to Israel in 1958 and volunteered as a combat field physician during his military service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

After his release from the IDF, Legum specialized in pediatric medicine at Hadassah Hospital in Tel Aviv, completing his training in 1967. Between 1967 and 1970, he traveled to the United States for further specialization in genetics at several renowned institutions: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and Stanford University.

Upon returning to Israel, Legum established the "Beit Habriut" (House of Health) on 14 Balfour Street, which was part of the Hadassah Hospital complex. Later, when Hadassah Hospital moved to Ichilov, Legum founded the Genetic Institute at Ichilov.

Legum served as the director of the Genetics Institute at the municipal hospitals (Ichilov, Hadassah, Bikur Holim) in Tel Aviv for 28 years. Concurrently, he was appointed as a professor of genetics at the School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.

Cyril Legum passed away in 2014 and was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery.


In 1959, Cyril Legum married Shula Legum (1932-2007). In March 1994, Shula Legum was promoted to the rank of Major General in the IDF. The couple had four sons: Uri, Danny, Yonatan, and Michael.

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