This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Adetokunbo Lucas, 89 years old, born on November 25, 1931, and passed away on December 25, 2020. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Funso Babawale on December 27, 2020
A very humble, very approachable teacher of teachers. Adieu! May his very humble soul rest in peace.
Posted by Adesida Adewumi on December 27, 2020
He was a rare gift to humanity. He spent and was spent. He died empty contributing all his humanity to humanity. Rest on medical legend. You will be missed. May light guide your way as you go home. Rest in peace. Amen

Posted by Tore Godal on December 27, 2020
One of Tokunbo’s many achievents were TDR:
If Howard Goodman had the vision,
And Richard Wilson the concept,
Tokunbo was the implementor. That was a very challenging task, because as Halfdan Mahler, the Diecctor General of WHO at that time, said « there were many charks going after TDR”, but Tokunbo tackled them all and made TDR a major new player of global Health.
I had the privilege of succeeding Tokunbo as the head of TDR. We should have an overlap of 1 month, so I could learn from him, but in his typical fashion, he had evacuated his office, so I had to move straight into his office and he had moved down the corridor to a tiny room.
Many of the tropical diseases are today on the path to elimination. That hat not been the case without Tokunbo’s decisive leadership! 
Posted by Susan Tyrrell on December 27, 2020
It is impossible to summarize in a few paragraphs this amazing man and his dedication to local, national and global health. I first met him at the first immunization seminar in Kumasi, Ghana, in 1974, where he chaired the meeting, and I then had the immense privilege of working with him for a decade in the Tropical Diseases Research Programme (TDR) at WHO, Geneva. Under his leadership, the programme blossomed and so much valuable R&D work was carried out which helped to treat so many sufferers and save lives, including the ground-breaking negotiations with Merck to secure ivermectin at no cost for “as much as required, for as long as it takes” to treat those suffering from river blindness. Accompanying the R&D was the research capacity strengthening (RCS) arm which trained so many scientists in poorer countries: thanks to this work, capacity on the ground was available to help cope with HIV which initially claimed so many lives. TDR was steered by what we called “The Gang of Four” – Tokunbo and the heads of R&D, RCS and programme management. All four are now on another shore and I like to think of them getting back together to deliberate and solve whatever issues surround them.
As a person, Tokunbo was such a warm human being with a wonderful sense of humour, full of jokes and infectious laughter. He had a photographic memory and enjoyed quoting page and verse in response to questions from delegates at the annual TDR governing body meeting – then he would turn to me with a beaming smile, hoping I could produce the document in question open at the appropriate page – a virtually impossible task! He treated all his staff with great respect whatever their level and would enjoy making his own photocopies to enable him to bond with the staff at the photocopying machine. Alongside his passion for improving global health, was his love of playing the organ and those of us in TDR during his decade recall wonderful evenings at his house, enjoying a potluck supper and singing to the many tunes he played.
As his autobiography title indicates, “It was the best of times” – and those times spent with him will remain in our hearts. The world is a sadder place for Tokunbo having left it.
Posted by m1 t1 on December 27, 2020
I met Dr. Lucas through my wife Susan Block Tyrrell and he attended our wedding. Dr. Lucas was an inspirational man who left lasting, deep memories. A man who moved with the technology changes and would entertain any gathering with his wealth of intriguing life stories and his very personal injection of humor. Very sadly missed.
Posted by Baba Issa on December 27, 2020
There is hardly any living doctor in Nigeria who wouldn't have read his book. He was a teacher of teachers and super expert in his chosen and assigned careers and roles. 

I met him over a decade ago during one of the HERFON meetings that led to the publication of the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases in Nigeria that he co-chaired with another academic juggernaut, the Late Professor Akinkugbe.
Professor Ade Lucas, continue to rest as we shall all sorely miss you.

Baba Issa (MBBS, MPH, FWACP)
Professor of Psychiatry,
University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Posted by Olayinka Omigbodun on December 26, 2020
The College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
mourns the passing of
Adetokunbo O. Lucas, FUI, OFR, FAS (Nigeria)
BSc (Durham), MD (Newcastle), DPH (Belfast), SM Hyg. (Harvard), DTM&H (England), FRCP (London), FFPHM (UK), FMCPH (Nigeria), FWACP, FRCOG (UK)
Retired Professor of Preventive & Social Medicine, University of Ibadan
Former Adjunct Professor of International Health, Harvard University
25 November 1931 – 25 December 2020

Professor Adetokunbo O. Lucas (known in international circles as ‘Ade’) had returned to Nigeria after obtaining the Diploma in Public Health and Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1959 and was appointed by the University College Hospital to the position of Senior Registrar in Medicine. A couple of years later, he was called to a rescue mission in the Department of Preventive & Social Medicine and that became his passion and the foundation of his lifetime work in epidemiology and public health. He was a major personality in international health for several decades and occupied many strategic positions, including being President of the International Epidemiological Association in 1971. He has contributed significantly to the capacity building and human resource development for public health globally. His scholarship was invaluable in unearthing the knowledge behind the fight against numerous tropical diseases, especially malaria, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis. He became the pioneer Director of the World Health Organisation Tropical Disease Research (TDR) programme in 1976. His contributions to the fight against maternal mortality earned him the honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of the United Kingdom. He was one of the 20 recipients of the Harvard Medal, an award that is made only once every 50 years, in 1986. Indeed, an academic colossus has departed from our midst.

Thank you.

Olayinka O. Omigbodun, FAS, FNAMed
Professor of Psychiatry and Provost
Posted by ISAAC ADEWOLE on December 26, 2020
I am not likely to join those who would describe the transition of Professor Adetokunbo Lucas as shocking. At 89, he was about 36 years past the life expectancy for Nigerian males. He personified public and global health, especially tropical and community medicine all over the world. Known by his international friends and colleagues as "Ade Lucas",he deserves to be celebrated as Ade Lucas is immortal. His book was our bible. His teaching was laced with humour and only the uncircumcised would not follow the trend. He was a teacher of teachers. Truly he was the last of the "Mohicans". May his brilliant soul rest in peace.
Posted by Ibrahim Wakawa Abdu on December 26, 2020
An academic colossus has departed this ephemeral world. Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas, you came, you saw, and you conquered. You left your indelible footprints on the sands of time. Your sweet memories will remain evergreen in memories. Good bye until we meet to part no more.
Posted by Oyewale Tomori on December 26, 2020
On the passing away of Prof Lucas...Our sorrow is mitigated by the blessings of Prof Lucas' exemplary, epoch making, deeply defining, community touching, people oriented and Divinely guided and ordered life. What a life and what a man! We can only thank God that we are around in his lifetime, to be taught by his life, to be guided by his style, to be honoured by being his disciples and follower, to be counted among his "children". What more can we ask for? What more can we be grateful for? What more can we cherish? What more glory can we bask in? What more achievement can we boast of?...I ask again...How much more grateful can we be and thank God
for giving us Professor Adetokunbo Lucas? May his soul rest in peace. May the Lord comfort all in deep pain and sorrow over his departure.
Posted by James Ayangunna on December 26, 2020
Baba was a great teacher and great public health expert. He taught my teachers in public health. His book was our public health bible. The first time my class met him physically was in 1999/2000 when he came from Harvard. He encouraged and prayed for us. He was a father, great academic. Rest on baba in the Lord. Adieu!
Prof J A Ayangunna, Dept of Social Work, UI.
Posted by Benjamin Nwobi on December 26, 2020
Our dearly beloved Professor of Public Health. You gave it all that life demanded of you. My first contact with you in 1979 as a young Parasitologist at the WHO Malaria Field Research Project in Benin left an indelible impression and impact on me and that shaped my career to what it has become today. Your endeavour in producing generations of global Public Health professionals and institutions testify to your legacy. We mourn your exit but give God glory that you bequeathed a larger-than-life footprint on global public health. We are grateful that you served and we comit you to the welcoming hands of your Maker for His 'weldone' home coming and rest. Adieu, Prof Adetokunboh Lucas.
Posted by Muhammad Ali Pate on December 26, 2020
Prof. Adetokunbo Lucas was a great source of inspiration long before I had a chance to meet him in person. Later when I met him, his unparalleled sharp intellect, dedication, humility, authenticity and generosity stood out as great examples for those of us growing up in the field. He consistently shared his wise counsel on Polio eradication during my time in office and provided strategic inputs in many areas of policy as well. With his passing now, Nigeria has lost a giant in public health and should rally to celebrate and honor a patriotic man, who made tremendous yet often not very well recognized contributions to Nigeria, Africa and the World. May his gentle soul Rest In Peace. Adieu, Prof!
Posted by Professor Folasade Akinso... on December 26, 2020
It has taken me decades to fully appreciate the transcendent qualities of the nascent luminaries that I was fortunate to know ,growing up on the University of Ibadan Campus.
Professor Adetokunbo Lucas,simply known to me then as “Funlade’s daddy “belonged to this distinguished echelon.
An erudite scholar,a seasoned academic,an unparalleled mentor but above all, a truly fine gentleman.
I still find it a challenge ,to reconcile the contrasting images of this man who bestrode the Public Health domain like a colossus with that of the unassuming and reticent father of four .
(Funlade(Boston),Ladipo(UK),Late Funto-passed on from complications of Poliomyelitis,Dayo(Chicago).)
Fare thee well Professor.May you,from your labors,rest.
Dr Chike Gwam ICOMAA 1982
Chicago USA
Posted by Emmanuel Otolorin on December 26, 2020
The passing of Emeritus Prof Adetokunbo Lucas is a great reminder of the good old days of public health education in the Ibadan College of Medicine. He was such an inspiring teacher, a fatherly figure and a proud example of knowledge, humility, distinction and achievement all rolled into one. Even, when he was working for international NGOs, Nigeria was always on his mind. He fought to have Nigeria included in development programs that benefitted the common man. He served in many capacities including on the Board of Trustees of many NGOs. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace and may the Good Lord grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss. He will be really missed. I doff my hat to him on behalf of ICOMAA Worldwide! Thank you Sir for your service. RIP Sir.
- Prof Emmanuel O. Otolorin, President, ICOMAA Worldwide.
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Susan Tyrrell on November 25, 2022
Thinking of you today dear Tokunbo when you would have been 91 years old - we all miss you - your special presence, your caring, your giggles and your jokes - hopefully you have folks laughing in heaven. Rest in peace.
Posted by Esohe Igbinedion on November 25, 2022
Happy birthday in Heaven dear Uncle. Continue to rest in peace. Fond memories of you live on in our hearts. You are sorely missed
Posted by Susan Tyrrell on December 28, 2021
One year already - we miss you dear Tokunbo but you live on in our hearts. Rest in peace.
Sue, Mark and Carina
his Life
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he received his early education, Dr. Lucas obtained his medical training in Britain, graduating B.Sc. (Physiology), First Class Honours in 1953 and M.B., B.S. with honours from the University of Durham in 1956. He was awarded several undergraduate prizes including the Tulloch Prize for obtaining the highest marks in the First MB, BS examination; and the, Philipson Prize -- two prizes for the two candidates who obtain the highest marks inFinal M.B., B.S. examination. His postgraduate training in internal medicine, tropical diseases and Public Health took him to Belfast, London and Boston. In 1958, Queen’s University, Belfast awarded him the Canwarth medal for obtaining the highest marks in the Diploma of Public Health examination.

Back home in Nigeria he taught clinical and community medicine in Ibadan where he was appointed professor and head of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, a position which he held from 1965 to 1976.His publications include papers on clinical and epidemiological aspects of tropical parasitic and infectious diseases -- schistosomiasis, malaria, African histoplasmosis, etc.

He co-authored 'A Short Textbook of Public Health for the Tropics' with Professor H.M. Gilles. First published in 1973, more than 25,000 copies of the 4th edition have been sold widely in Africa and elsewhere.

For the ten years preceding his work at Carnegie, 1976-86, he directed the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases based at the World Health Organization in Geneva; he received the Prince Mahidol Award 1999 in recognition of his contribution in the development of this programme. From 1986 to 1990, Dr. Lucas served as chair of Carnegie Corporation's grant programme concerned with Strengthening Human Resources in Developing Countries. In 1990, he was appointed Professor of International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and he is currently an Adjunct professor in the Department of Global Health.

He has served on the expert committees and advisory boards of various national organisations and international agencies: Rockefeller Foundation, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Carter Center, the Wellcome Trust Scientific Group on Tropical Medicine, the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Children’s Vaccine Programme and the Governing Board of the Centres for Agriculture and Biosciences International. He chaired the Global Forum for Health Research, for four years when the new entity was established to promote international health research. He represented West and Central African countries on the Governing Board of the Global Fund for Fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Dr. Lucas received various academic honours: the Harvard Medal, the Mary Kingsley Medal of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Honorary Fellowship of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit. He served as the first honorary President of the Alumni Association of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for 11 years. The School has named a lecture room in a new building "in honour of Professor Adetokunbo Lucas, renowned international health specialist…"

He has been elected an honorary member of various professional organisations including:

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

British Society of Parasitology

Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences

International Epidemiological Association

Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons

Swiss Society of Tropical Medicine

Nigerian Academy of Science

Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria

He was elected to the Institute of Medicine (now renamed National Academy of Medicine) of the United States National Academy of Science as one of the first eight persons in a new category of membership -- foreign associate; he also holds honorary degrees from Emory (D.Sc.), Tulane (D.Sc.), Newcastle (D.Sc.), Obafemi Awolowo (DSc), Sussex (MD) and Ibadan (F.U.I.) universities. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG) ad eundem. His Royal Majesty, the King of Thailand granted him the Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of.0 the Most Admirable Order of Direkgunabhorn. As part of its centenary celebration, The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine awarded him one of the two Centennial medals issued in recognition of a ‘Lifetime Achievement in Tropical Medicine’.

Main hobby - playing classical music on pipe organs

Professor Adetokunbo Lucas, OFR (1931 - 2020)

Professor Adetokunbo Lucas:
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Brother, Teacher, Mentor, Friend, Thinker, Leader and Colleague 

BSC (Durham.), MD (Newcastle), DPH (Belfast.), SM Hyg. (Harvard), DTM&H (England)

Fellowships: FRCP (London), FFPHM (UK), FMCPH (Nigeria), FWACP (West Africa), FRCOG (UK,), FAS (Nigeria)

Honorary DSc Degrees: Emory (USA),Newcastle (UK). Obafemi Awolowo (Nigeria), Tulane (USA)

Other Honorary DegreesF.U.I. (Nigeria), MD Sussex(UK)

Adjunct Professor of International Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Recent stories

Memorial Note - Prof. Michael Reich

Shared by Lola Dare on January 25, 2021
Professor Adetokunbo O. Lucas passed away peacefully on Christmas day at his home in Ibadan, Nigeria, at the age of 89.
Ade Lucas, as he was known to many outside Nigeria, had deep connections to Harvard.  His ties to Harvard began with a Masters degree in Hygiene in 1964, when he was also elected President of his Class. In 1983, he gave the commencement address at the School. In 1986, he received one of 20 Harvard Medals awarded on the 350th Anniversary of the University. In the early 1990s, he joined the School’s faculty as Professor of International Health for five years, when he served as director of the Harvard International Health Leadership Forum, a pathbreaking forum for Ministers of Health. I had the honor and pleasure of working with him regularly then. He continued as Adjunct Professor of International Health until his death. He stands as the School’s most illustrious graduate and faculty member from Africa. A truly great leader in public health globally.
Professor Lucas played a leadership role in many public health organizations during the latter half of the last century, in Africa, in Europe, in Asia, in the Americas; there are so many organizations, so many honors, it is impossible to list them all; I listed some on the slide, along with the cover from his autobiography.
For those of you who never met Professor Lucas, I would like to read the opening of his acceptance speech, when he received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in 2013. He started with these words,
“Who made you?” the teacher asked his class at Sunday School. “How come?
Which part? Explain yourself”, the teacher pressed.
“God made me and I was small but I grew the rest myself”
Like the little boy, I was small when I arrived in the world. Unlike the cheeky boy, I am not so presumptuous to think that I did it all on my own. I followed the good advice that George Bernard Shaw gave: ‘To be successful in life, one must choose one’s parents with care’. I chose the best couple; my mother who taught me to read and write and to play the piano; and my father, a teacher and a pastor who embraced scholarly academic work as his leisure pursuit.
For me and for many, every encounter with Professor Lucas was a memorable experience. His conversations and his lectures sparkled with wide-ranging knowledge, an extraordinary story-telling capacity, and a sharp but gentle wit, and above all moral integrity.
The world and Harvard have lost a remarkable humanitarian in global health, and a great friend and mentor for many, including me.

A tribute to Professor Adetokunbo Lucas

Shared by Chinedum Babalola on January 23, 2021

Although Professor Lucas' departure is painful, we thank God for the long and impactful life he lived. I have great memories of him and appreciate him for the wonderful opportunities he brought my way and his untiring support till death. Professor Adetokunbo Lucas, is one of the world’s leading tropical disease experts of his generation and many generations to come. His contributions have led to disease eradication.

Although a founding Fellow Nigerian Academy of Science, we both got inducted as Fellow of the Academy (FAS) in May 2011, and I was privileged to be seated next to him and right there I invited him to attend my inaugural lecture, slated a month away on 16th June 2011. I was again honoured to have him at that event and thereafter, he was quite impressed with the lecture and he became an automatic mentor and promoter of my career.

One rare assignment he gave me was to be the Book Reviewer for the book he and his friends wrote about a great physician Professor (Mrs.) Oyinade Olurin when she turned 80 in 2014 titled “OYINADE ODUTOLA-OLURIN: A RARE GEM. It was quite shocking to me because I was the least qualified to undertake this assignment but he would take No for an answer”.

He recommended me some prizes, worked very hard, spent long hours with me in his home and despite failing eyes, to ensure I won international prizes especially the Shaw prize based on my work on malaria and infectious disease.  I felt that these prizes were beyond my reach but he did not give up on me. He wanted me to take after him since he has won several international medals and he was proud to show me the list including -  the Mary Kingsley Medal of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award of Merit, the Prince Mahidol Award for his global contributions to tropical disease research, and the Thai Grand Cross First Class for his good deeds in Thailand among several. My deep regret though is that by the time I won the African Union Regional Kwame Nkrumah prize in 2021 (something not near your desires and dreams for me), he was not fit enough to appreciate it and I kept postponing visiting him till he passed.

He shared almost every aspect of his life with me from family tree, his childhood, his schooling, his love for music and playing piano, his career within and outside Nigeria, his research in tropical diseases, his laurels, medals, prizes, recognitions, successes of his children and grandchildren. Finally was sharing and given me his autobiography titled - “It Was the Best of Times: From Local to Global Health.” which gives his perspective on the emergence of global health, as a participant on this change. He also did not fail to recount how his first year birthday in 1932 was cancelled due to attack of measles. He was glad to devote a chapter to the pharmaceutical Industry.

When he turned 85, he ensured I attended the regular lecture series in his honour at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife graced by the then Director General of NACA and other great scholars. He ensured I wrote a testimonial on him for a book compilation in His honour by  – Hallmarks of Labour Foundation (9th edition) in 2018.

To know who Professor Lucas is to know a celebrity in the area of global health, a distinguished personality and an accomplished individual. He is the definition of a distinguished person

I will miss him and I know his family will miss him most. But we thank God for the fruitful and impactful life he lived which traversed all the regions of the world. He lived well and died on Christmas day – the Day of our Lord.

May God comfort the wife, children, family, colleagues, well-wishers and all who mourn him.

Adieu Professor Adetokunbo Lucas

A tribute to a worthy mentor

Shared by Temitayo Adisa on January 23, 2021
A worthy mentor of mine has gone to be with the Lord!
My relationship with Grandpa and Grandma dates back to 2009 when I was a beneficiary of the Olufunto Lucas award for the best graduating student in Mathematics at the International School, University of Ibadan, an institution which their late daughter, Olufunto attended.
The prize was a brand new Toshiba Laptop which served me throughout my University days.
Since then, Grandpa and Grandma Lucas have taken so much interest me. Grandpa being a Professor of Medicine and a worthy mentor took it upon himself to monitor my progress when I was admitted to study Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan. Grandpa always had autographed books to give me as gifts all the times I visited them- including the public health textbook I used while in Medical school and his autobiography, among various journals of Public Health which I still have till date.
I  recall with nostalgia the last time Grandpa and Grandma were at my home in Ibadan in 2017. They felt relaxed with us and spent tine talking about various issues. They also left gifts for my parents and siblings.
My solace is that Grandpa lived an excellent life worthy of emulation and that he was well advanced in age before his glorious exit.
I thank God everyday for you and the positive impact you have made in my life. You have taught me to be very humble and altruistic. I am just sad that you didn't get to be at my wedding before you left us.
Rest in perfect peace Grandpa.
Temitayo Adisa