Dr. Charles Tator, one of only 160 neurosurgeons in Canada, still finds time in his 110-hour work week to canvass a few cards for the United Jewish Appeal.
Tator, 63, the only living neurosurgeon to hold the Order of Canada, performs 150 to 200 brain and spinal cord operations a year. Brain tumors and spinal defects are his two specialties.
Tator was former chair of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto for 10 years, where he is now a professor. He is one of the 11 surgeons at Toronto Western Hospital to which neurological patients from Mount Sinai Hospital are referred.
He works out of a small office at the Toronto Western Hospital, and often visits elementary and high schools in the area to preach the message of safety. Tator discusses issues such as the prevention of playground accidents — scarves getting caught in swings — and the prevention of sports-related head and neck injuries. . . .
Tator describes himself as “a total, Toronto product.” Both sets of his grandparents lived near the Toronto Western Hospital, and his parents lived on Rusholme Road, when he was born at the Toronto General hospital. Later, they moved to Wembley Road in Forest Hill, and the York Mills area in North York.
His wife Carol, formerly of Detroit, is a race relations consultant who teaches in the anthropology department at York University. She is a former president of Temple Emanu-El, where both she and her husband are active members.
Married for 40 years, they have two sons and a daughter: Ira, a writer, Michael, in business, and Julie, a school teacher. ♦
This article originally appeared in the Canadian Jewish News in 2000 and appears here courtesy of the Rose family. © 2012 by the family of the late Ben Rose.