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Dr. Norman Howard Bell, M.D.

Dr. Norman Howard Bell, M.D.
  • February 11, 1931 - December 6, 2017
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Norman H. Bell, M.D. Endowed Lectureship
    MUSC Foundation
    18 Bee Street, MSC 450
    Charleston, SC 29425

Pause Looking Back by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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“So sorry to hear of your loss of Norman. He was a great man and will truly be missed. ”
1 of 7 | Posted by: Chris & Lisa Bedson - Summerville, SC

“So, so sorry. He will be missed. We had some wonderful times together. From dance, to shows, to entertaining us at your house, we always had fun and...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Larry and Betsy Beldner

“So sorry. We had some great times to remember. ”
3 of 7 | Posted by: Larry and Betsy Belsdner - SC

“Norman always had such a pleasant smile and was a pleasure to be around. He will be missed. ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: Allen and Connie Vance - SC

“We were sorry to hear of Norman's passing. His ministry in the churches and in the community was a blessing. Our prayers are with the family. ”
5 of 7 | Posted by: Carl and Gill Green - Charleston, SC

“Ledlie and family,Christine and I were so sad to hear about Norman. I was honored to get to share a pew with him at the Cathedral a few times. He was...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Steve Worsham - Charleston, SC

“LedlieWe were sad to read about Norm. He was a remarkable physician scientist, and educator. A devoted Christian and family man was also a friend of...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: A friend


Norman Howard Bell, M.D., 86, professor emeritus at the Medical University of South Carolina, entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the age of 86. A memorial service will be held at a later date when family members can gather together to remember Norman. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.

Born in Gainesville, Georgia in 1931, Dr. Bell was a graduate of Emory University and the Duke Medical School Class of 1955. He had a distinguished career in endocrinology, focusing on bone and mineral metabolism. Dr. Bell was named co-recipient of the 1983 William S. Middleton Award, the most distinguished award presented by the Veterans Administration for excellence in biomedical research. In 1992 he received the Frederic C. Bartter Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research for excellence in clinical investigation. Recipient of myriad grants throughout his long career, Dr. Bell began his research career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and then had faculty appointments at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston from 1979 until his retirement in 2007.

Dr. Bell was deeply involved with the Episcopal Church. He served as senior warden of St. James and as a vestry member of the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul. For the past twelve years he had suffered from Parkinson's Disease. He died from an upper respiratory infection after bravely battling the debilitating effects of Parkinson's.

He will be remembered for his keen intellect, traditional values, and remarkable research success. Supported through continuous grants from the NIH, he and his colleagues made great strides in the fundamental understanding of Vitamin D deficiencies and the prevention of osteoporosis. In addition to his research, Dr. Bell mentored young people who are carrying on the research that he initiated.

Dr. Bell is survived by his wife of 45 years, Ledlie Dinsmore Bell; their son, Bayard Gardiner Bell (Anne Royal Townsend); grandson, Eliot; and his children, Julianne Rankin Bell and Douglas Howard Bell from his first marriage to Claude Douglas Handy of Annapolis, Maryland who died in 1967. Dr. Bell also leaves his twin sister, Julianne Howard Bell Simons (Keating Lewis Simons, Jr) and a half-sister Deborah Frances Bell Herbst (Richard J. Herbst). He was predeceased by his mother, Henrietta Howard Bell Rankin, and his father, Dr. Kenneth Rush Bell.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts may be made to the Norman H. Bell, M.D. Endowed Lectureship or to a fund of your choosing at the MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee Street, MSC 450, Charleston, SC 29425.