JEAN MANTZ, Editor of Anesthesiology, passed away on January 9, 2017, a few days after he was admitted into hospital for the final time. He fought a battle against illness for more than 5 yr with dignity and continued working until his very last days. He faced his impending death as a man of great courage and set an example I would dearly like to follow when my turn comes.
Jean Mantz studied medicine at the Medical School of the University of Strasbourg (France), following in his father’s footsteps, who was the Dean of the Faculty. He moved to the Denis Diderot Faculty of Medicine in Paris, where he graduated. During his residency, he chose to become an anesthesiologist and critical care specialist. Very early on, however, he was attracted by fundamental research and admitted into one of the most prestigious research bodies in France, the College de France (where Claude Bernard had worked during the nineteenth century), to conduct research on the neurologic mechanisms of anesthetic agents under the supervision of Pr. Jacques Glowinski. Jean Mantz was appointed as Assistant Professor in 1991 at the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Bichat Hospital in Paris (under Pr. Jean-Marie Desmonts), which was one of the most renowned departments of anesthesiology in France. Only 5 yr later he became Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care as a result of international recognition for his scientific work, both in experimental and clinical research. In this era when French anesthesiology had just begun to establish its firm modern scientific basis, it should be noted that he was the first French anesthesiologist who succeeded in publishing experimental research in a leading international journal.
In addition to a brilliant career in the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (Head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Beaujon Hospital in 2004, Head of the Medical Council of the Paris Nord Val de Seine Hospital group in 2011, Head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the George Pompidou European Hospital in 2015), his academic career equally was impressive, as shown by his numerous and prestigious publications (among them 35 publications in Anesthesiology), and his election at the French University Council (2010 to 2016). Jean Mantz was clearly a distinguished scientist and an excellent teacher but, in my opinion, these are not the most important qualities required for a professor. He also was able to attract young physicians, not only to anesthesiology but also to science. He was a great mentor, and several of his students are now following in his footsteps as Professors of Anesthesiology and Critical Care. Jean’s motto was “nothing is ever finished!” and I am convinced that his many students would agree with him and will continue his work.
Jean Mantz was elected as an Editor of Anesthesiology in 2012, after serving several years as an associate editor, during the tenure of Jim Eisenach as Editor-in-Chief. I remember that the decision of the Board to appoint him was an easy one, and everyone was pleased to welcome this distinguished Frenchman. Equally, I also remember how Jean was proud to join the Board and to be able to serve our Journal more intensively. He kindly said that it was a great honor for him to join the dream team of the “best anesthesiologists in the world at the present time.” I remember with great nostalgia a dinner with Jim Eisenach in Chicago just after his first editorial board meeting. I was finishing my tenure as Editor, he was just beginning, and we shared this moment with great friendship. Jean Mantz greatly appreciated this job, as he appreciated in the past being the Editor-in-Chief of the key French journal Annales Françaises d’Anesthésie et de Réanimation. Jean Mantz fought to promote excellence in research and to improve Anesthesiology. He had a critical but well-meaning eye, knowing how difficult is the task to provide good science, to transform it in a readable way, and to communicate appropriately a relevant message. His dedication to these goals also was associated with the feeling that Anesthesiology is not only the journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists but the leading international journal of our specialty. I know how important this international experience was for him.
The international anesthesiology community has lost an excellent anesthesiologist and a good colleague, Anesthesiology has lost a remarkable Editor, and I have lost a great friend. Jean Mantz is survived by Barbara, his wife, and two children, Marine and Mathieu. Our sincere condolences go to them, his family, and to all his many friends who will be much saddened by his passing.
The author is not supported by, nor maintains any financial interest in, any commercial activity that may be associated with the topic of this article