Title: Physician, lawyer
Birthdate: July 8, 1948
Death Date: January 22, 2005
Plot Location: Section M2, Lot 1, Row 2, Grave 1

Screenshot (2045)

Chicago was where David was born but Philadelphia was where he grew up with three younger brothers. Friends and family called him Rick. As a student at Overbrook High School he was involved in student government and social activities, and was voted most popular student. 

After graduation in 1966, he attended Lincoln University in Chester County, the third oldest historically black university in the country. (The oldest is Cheyney University, which also happens to be located in Chester County.) At LU, Rick was a member of the Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, the first chapter of the historically African American fraternity on the east coast. 

Then he transferred to LaSalle University where he graduated in 1973. It was during this time that he became firmly committed to social justice and briefly joined the Black Panther Party.

In 1974 Rick was accepted to Yale University Medical School and was there three years before deciding to change careers. He enrolled at Howard University Law School and was elected president of the Student Bar Association.

After graduation in 1980 he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar Association and practiced law in Philadelphia with a major law firm. Then he realized that practicing medicine was his true calling so he resumed his medical studies at St. George Medical School in Granada, West Indies. 

Rick graduated in 1989 and completed medical internships at various hospitals in the Dominican Republic, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in El Paso, Texas. He performed his residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. then returned again to Philly to set up a private medical practice.

His mother died in July of 2003 and perhaps that awoke something in him about his purpose in life. In response, Rick accepted an offer from the Nation of Islam in April of 2004 to provide medical service through its mission in Tamale, Ghana, West Africa. While there he also provided medical assistance to the U.S. Peace Corps.

His service in Africa was for only a few months before his untimely death, but details on the cause of death have not been located. His obituary said he left behind a fiancée and three brothers, concluding that “he was tireless in his willingness to sacrifice his personal well being to help others in need.”


Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

Support the Friends of Mount Moriah

Help us in our mission to restore and maintain the beautiful Mount Moriah Cemetery by donating to our cause or volunteering at one of our clean-up events.