Donald Trump’s Longtime Former Physician Dr. Harold Bornstein Dies at 73

Sean Neumann
·3 min read

Joe Marino/NY Daily News via Getty Dr. Harold Bornstein

Donald Trump's former personal physician Dr. Harold Bornstein, who treated the president for decades before stepping down from that role in 2017, died on Friday, according to an obituary published Thursday in The New York Times. He was 73.

Bornstein is remembered to many for his connection to Trump. He drew widespread notice during the 2016 presidential campaign when he issued a letter declaring: "I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

It was an oddly confident assertion. Trump, now 74, has long faced questions about his personal health history and was the oldest ever president when he was sworn in, and there have been unusual medical episodes while in the White House — including a sudden trip to the hospital in 2019.

"If something happens to him, then it happens to him," Bornstein told STAT News in 2016, brushing off concern. Later, however, Bornstein spoke more candidly.

He told NBC News in 2018 the president's longtime bodyguard and a Trump Organization lawyer had "raided" his office and taken his medical records.

Soon after, Bornstein claimed to CNN that the president dictated that infamous letter declaring his own cardiovascular health as "extraordinary" and "astonishingly excellent," among other plaudits.

Bornstein had expected to continue treating Trump as his White House physician, but he told news outlets he believed the president vindictively decided not to give him the role after the doctor had shared his medical information to the media.

No cause or place of death were listed in Bornstein's obituary. The physician's New York City office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Joe Marino/NY Daily News via Getty Dr. Harold Bornstein

Bornstein is survived by his wife, Melissa Brown, daughter Alix and his sons Robyn, Joseph, Jeremee and Jackson. Robyn and Joseph Bornstein are also doctors, according to the physician's obituary, following a career path that carries through the family for generations.

Bornstein's own father, Dr. Jacob Bornstein, led the family's office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, at the corner of Park Avenue and 78th Street, for decades before his late son took over both the practice and its most famous patient, Trump.

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"With sadness, the office at 101 East 78th Street will be without a 'Dr. Bornstein', ready and waiting to care for his fellow New Yorkers, for the first time in almost 70 years," the physician's obituary reads.

The doctor, who sported flowing, shoulder-length locks, treated Trump from 1980 until 2017, according to the Times, when Trump took office. Bornstein previously told the newspaper the future president used to come in for an annual check-up every year and that he had also treated Trump's three wives, Ivana Trump, Marla Maples and First Lady Melania Trump.

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Born in 1947, Bornstein was notably proud of his alma mater, Tufts University, and its Boston-based medical school, from which he graduated in 1975. The physician's obituary says he was "always a loyal Tufts Jumbo," referring to the school's elephant mascot.

A character himself, the Times noted that Bornstein had written poetry under a pseudonym "Count Harold" while in college and had played in a high school band called "Doc Bornstein and the Interns."

A photo of Bornstein as a child, holding a stethoscope up to a teddy bear, hung in the family's office, according to STAT.

"Bornstein was a force of nature who brought joy to his family, friends and everyone he encountered in life," his obituary reads, adding that the doctor "continues to do so in memory."