One small article cannot begin to capture the special quality of Siegfired Ziering. Well-known as a business exec, a scientist, a playwright and a philanthropist, this German-born Jewish man gave of himself to the full.
Born Siegfried, but known as Sigi to his friends and family, Ziering was caught in Europe as a child with his mother and brother during World War II. They managed to survive the Holocaust and were saved by the Swedish Red Cross. In 1949 Ziering came to the US with his family. He earned his degree in Physics from Brooklyn College and received a doctorate in theoretical physics from Syracuse University in 1958.
He began his career at Raytheon working on nuclear reactors in Boston. In 1961 he founded Space Sciences Inc, a government contract research company based in Massachusetts. Only 7 years later the Whittaker Corporation bought Ziering’s company for $1.8 million. With some money in hand Ziering took his family to Los Angeles, where he became the research director at Whittaker.
Later Ziering bought out another company, Diagnostic Products Corp which made drug detection kits. In 1982 this company went public. By 2000 the company had 1700 workers and was selling 400 immunoassay tests and associated equipment. In 2006 Siemens bought the company for $1.86 billion and became one of its subsidiaries, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.
Ziering wrote a play about an historical figure during the Holocaust, The Judgement of Herbert Bierhoff. The play was first performed in September 1999 with a cast including Jon Voight and Cloris Leachman.
Sigi Ziering was a dedicated philanthropist to Jewish causes. He was the President of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, endowed a program at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, and was on the Board of Trustees of the American Jewish University in Bel Air. He was also the co-chair of the Los Angeles section of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
Sigi died in 2000 of a brain tumor. His memory will always be for a blessing.