Kevin M. Cahill, who managed to pack a number of careers right into a single life as a number one professional on tropical illnesses, a physician to celebrities and politicians, a detailed adviser to Gov. Hugh L. Carey of New York and a savior to the ailing American Irish Historic Society, however who later confronted allegations of sexual assault by two ladies, died on Wednesday at his dwelling in Level Lookout, N.Y., on Lengthy Island. He was 86.
His son Brendan mentioned that the reason for dying had not been decided, however that his father had been in failing well being.
A brief, stocky man with massive, bushy eyebrows and an accent that tilted between Gaelic brogue and Noo Yawkese, Dr. Cahill managed to develop into a globe-trotting humanitarian whereas conserving thick roots planted in New York’s Irish American group.
After an early stint as a physician in Cairo and India, the place he labored alongside Mom Teresa, Dr. Cahill returned to New York, the place he established one of many nation’s first facilities for tropical illness, at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was among the many first medical doctors to name consideration to the town’s rising AIDS disaster, organizing a groundbreaking convention on the illness in 1983.
He spent the late Nineteen Seventies commuting to Albany, the place, as Governor Carey’s well being coverage professional, he moved mountains to reshape the state’s flailing medical paperwork, making a bunch of enemies however impressing even his detractors as a fast research and an efficient political infighter.
A high professional in humanitarian medication who labored in 65 nations, Dr. Cahill established an amputee clinic in Somalia and directed earthquake aid in Nicaragua, experiences he mentioned in 1993 on the NPR program “Recent Air With Terry Gross.”
He was the non-public doctor to a protracted listing of elite New Yorkers, together with the highest figures within the metropolis’s Roman Catholic hierarchy. He was with Leonard Bernstein when Bernstein took his final breath. He was one among two American medical doctors invited to Rome to evaluate the well being of Pope John Paul II after he was shot in 1981.
And as a outstanding determine amongst Irish Individuals who quoted Yeats with ease, he revived the American Irish Historic Society, which was based in 1897 and occupies a stately former townhouse on Fifth Avenue, throughout from the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork.
The society had virtually ceased to exist when Dr. Cahill took it over within the early Nineteen Seventies. He raised funds to renovate its dwelling and made its annual gala a must-do on the town’s social calendar, within the course of serving to to make Eire a topic of fashionable fascination.
“Dr. Cahill was a pioneer in bringing a prominence and seriousness to the research of Irish and Irish American tradition that had lengthy been missing,” Peter Quinn, a author and former member of the historic society’s board, mentioned in a telephone interview.
Dr. Cahill’s life was not with out controversy. His critics discovered him self-serious, nepotistic and egotistic.
As his time as the pinnacle of the American Irish Historic Society wore on, he was accused of treating it increasingly more like his private kingdom. He put in his sons as officers, booted officers who crossed him and unilaterally introduced a plan to promote the townhouse in 2021, a transfer that has been beneath evaluate by the state authorities.
“The constructing on Fifth Avenue is one thing that stands for all of us,” Brian McCabe, a former main determine within the society, informed The New York Instances that yr. “That is a few very small group controlling what’s held in belief for the Irish in America and around the globe.”
In 2020 a former affected person, Megan Wesko, sued Dr. Cahill in federal court docket, alleging that he had pursued a romantic relationship along with her and sexually assaulted her throughout an examination, a improvement reported in The Instances in June. In 2022 one other girl, Natalie Mauro, mentioned that he had additionally sexually assaulted her at his workplace.
Dr. Cahill was not charged with any crimes. He denied the allegations, and the lawsuit was nonetheless pending at his dying.
A grandson of Irish immigrants, Kevin Michael Cahill was born on Might 5, 1936, within the Bronx. His father, John, was a physician. His mom, Genevieve (Campion) Cahill, was a trainer and homemaker.
He studied classics at Fordham College, graduating in 1957, and acquired his medical diploma from Cornell in 1961. As a medical scholar, and later as a fellow on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs, he traveled to Calcutta, India (now Kolkata), the place he labored in an area clinic alongside Mom Teresa, then a little-known Albanian nun.
“I discover romance in settings that others may — fairly legitimately — see solely as soiled, broken-down wastelands,” he mentioned in a commencement handle on the Faculty of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts in 2008. “Certainly these negatives existed in Calcutta. However amidst the fetid stenches of Indian city decay, I primarily recall the robust aroma of unique spices.”
He served within the Navy Medical Corps from 1963 to 1965, working at a analysis facility in Cairo, after which he returned to New York to determine his medical follow.
He married Kathryn McGinity in 1961. She died in 2004. Alongside along with his son Brendan, he’s survived by 4 different sons, Christopher, Kevin, Sean and Denis, and 9 grandchildren.
Dr. Cahill’s expertise made him an apparent alternative by Lenox Hill Hospital to guide its Tropical Illness Middle, which opened in 1966. In 1970 he was named chairman of the division of tropical illnesses on the Royal Faculty of Surgeons in Dublin, a put up he held till 2006.
After he grew to become governor in 1975, Mr. Carey, himself a product of New York Metropolis’s Irish Catholic political scene, took Dr. Cahill with him to Albany and gave him the duty of cleansing up the state’s sprawling, almost bancrupt well being care system.
The 2 have been outdated pals, and Dr. Cahill served as one of many governor’s closest advisers. He labored for $1 a day, at some point every week, typically staying in a single day on the governor’s mansion.
“He’s very single‐minded, fairly cussed and inflexible,” Albert H. Blumenthal, a Democrat who served as majority chief within the State Meeting, informed The Instances in 1977. “However he’s a simple man to take care of. There’s no deceit to him.”
The connection didn’t final, although; Dr. Cahill and Mr. Carey reportedly had a falling-out, and Dr. Cahill left the governor’s workplace in 1980.
He went on to work for the New York Metropolis Board of Well being, advise the United Nations on world well being and direct the Institute of Worldwide Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham. He additionally wrote a number of books, together with, most not too long ago, “Tropical Drugs: A Medical Textual content” (2021). He left each Fordham and Lenox Hill Hospital in 2020.