Harold N. Bornstein, Trump’s Former Personal Physician, Dies at 73


“He dictated that whole letter,” he told CNN. “I didn’t write that letter.”

Harold Nelson Bornstein was born on March 3, 1947, in New York City to Dr. Jacob and Maida (Seltzer) Bornstein. From an early age he wanted to be a doctor, like his father. A photograph in his office showed him as a smiling young boy holding a stethoscope to what appeared to be a teddy bear, according to a 2016 profile of him on the medical news website STAT. In high school, he played in a band called Doc Bornstein and the Interns.

Dr. Bornstein went to Tufts, outside Boston, graduating in 1968, and earned his medical degree there in 1975. He had a strong allegiance to the university, which 19 members of his extended family had attended over the years. He cut a flamboyant figure on campus; was a good student, if irreverent; and wrote poetry under the pseudonym Count Harold.

Dr. Bornstein eventually joined his father at his practice in Manhattan and had privileges at Lenox Hill Hospital, also on the Upper East Side. His father at one point had lived in Jamaica, Queens, near Mr. Trump’s boyhood home, and a patient of Jacob Bornstein’s is believed to have introduced them. The elder Dr. Bornstein died in 2010 at 93.

Dr. Bornstein was proud of the concierge medical practice he ran with his father for more than 50 years. “My greatest successes,” he said in a 2017 interview with a Tufts medical school alumni magazine, “have been avoiding managed-care medicine and refusing to have the conservative beard and haircut that my parents thought was necessary for success.”

Dr. Bornstein, who lived north of New York City in Scarsdale, N.Y., was married three times, most recently to Melissa Brown, who survives him. He is also survived by a daughter, Alix; two sons who are also medical doctors, Robyn and Joseph; and two other sons, Jeremee and Jackson, according to the published death notice.

Dr. Bornstein was initially pleased with the attention he received as Mr. Trump’s personal physician, though his notoriety later subjected him and his family to harassment.

The back of his business cards, STAT reported, included his name and below that, written in Italian, the phrase “dottore molto famoso” — “very famous doctor.”