– By Llewellyn King, Executive Producer and Host
“White House Chronicle” on PBS –
Dr. Elliot Salloway, Executive Social Media Director of the Boston Global Forum
Elliot Salloway was my friend but, in his way, he was a friend of everyone.
Elliot was committed — albeit with a gleam in his eye and a spring in his step — to making the world a better place any way he could.
He was preoccupied with genocide and its causes and devoted his last several years to working on “empathy” as a teachable subject. He believed if you could get the young to think empathetically, you could avoid a lot of misery in conflict zones. Even while cancer was chewing up his body, he worked to support the teaching of empathy in Africa.
He was a highly empathetic man himself. I met him at my first attendance at the Boston Global Forum, and he drove me from Harvard Square to South Station to get a train to Providence, R.I. Trains came and went. He parked his car and we talked — and talked and talked. It was as though we had gone middle school together. Elliot was not just a friend, he was a total friend.
His life was as incredible as it was full. His father worked in a tanning factory and died early from the poisons which were part of that trade at that time. Elliot told me he vowed not to suffer the same fate; he went to dental school and became the first periodontist in Worcester, Mass. Earlier he did his military service in the Air Force as an officer-dentist.
But he did more than treat patients. He taught at Harvard for 30 years, and was an avid blue-water sailor, race car driver and tennis player.
He learned photography (he said street photography was his favorite) and painting and exhibited his work. All his art reflected his life’s passion: the contrast between good and evil. Every painting shows good balancing evil.
He and his wife Regina raised three sons and continued their life in Worcester — when he wasn’t in the driver’s seat of a race car, at the helm of a yacht, dabbing paint on a canvas, or looking through a camera’s viewfinder.
When the Boston Global Forum was getting underway, Tuan asked Elliot to be the chief operating officer. He threw himself into that with brio, as he did everything else.
Photo: Eliot Salloway (far left) at Boston Global Forum meeting in 2013 at Harvard University
In the end, if kindness is the greatest thing that can be said of a man, and I think it is, then Elliot was great that way as well as a physician, a father and a teacher of men. He was a man of action with a heart as big as the oceans he sailed. He had fun. He was fun.
Elliot Salloway was an incandescent presence wherever he was, and I am one of a legion who will miss him.