The UAB School of Optometry was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Dr. Larry Alexander. Dr. Alexander served UABSO for 20 years as a Professor and chief of the ocular disease service. He also participated in private practice, served in many administrative capacities, and performed clinical research in glaucoma, diabetes, hypertension, and dry eye.

Dr. Alexander was considered a true advocate of optometry students, and his commitment to optometric education was recognized frequently through teaching awards and accolades given by the UABSO student body. As an internationally renowned lecturer and author, Dr. Alexander’s textbook “Primary Care of the Posterior Segment” has been regarded as an essential reference for treatment of problems of the retina, vitreous body, and optic nerve.

“Larry was a well-respected and enjoyable lecturer in the areas of ocular disease and therapeutics. He was known for his dry wit, engaging delivery, and willingness to help anyone with questions about patient care,“ said UABSO associate professor Felton Perry, OD. “I can recall several instances when he took my call about a patient whom I had in my chair in my private practice. He took his time and walked me through the process, teaching me what I needed to know how to take care of the patient right then. When he finished, I knew he had shared with me in such a way that he hadn't just given me a fish, but had taught me how to fish.”

Dr. Alexander was also among the UABSO faculty members who worked diligently in the early 1990’s to help pass Alabama’s “optometrist drug law,” which later gave optometrists in all 50 states the authority to prescribe drugs for the treatment of allergies and infections.

"Larry recruited me to the UAB faculty and always had time for my questions. He gave me a segment of his ocular disease course to teach, and that was my start. I learned a great deal from him—he was a fabulous teacher and made the world a better place as a person. He will be remembered for his spirit and his contributions," reflects UABSO professor Leo P. Semes, OD.

Dr. Alexander was a 1971 alumnus of the Indiana University School of Optometry and veteran of the United States Navy. The UAB School of Optometry recognizes the many contributions he made to the optometry profession and academics both during his tenure here and throughout his remarkable career. He leaves a tremendous legacy and will be truly missed.

UABSO learned that Dr. Alexander passed away at home suddenly and of natural causes. A private military memorial service will be held for the family on the beach near their home. Dr. Alexander believed in the importance of goodwill gestures and making a difference in the lives of others. With that in mind, if you would like to do something to honor his legacy, the Alexander family asks that you honor him through a random act of kindness toward another individual.