Font resize Email Print

Longtime UCSF Dentistry Leader and Champion Dr. William Bird Passes Away

July 19, 2012

Doni & Bill BirdDean Featherstone announces with great sadness the passing of his longtime colleague and friend Dr. William Bird.  "It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement to the UCSF family. Bill devoted 22 years of his life to UCSF in many ways. He touched many people and made major contributions to the School of Dentistry. He and I worked together for almost 17 years in several ways, and I grew to appreciate his knowledge, skills and incredible humanitarian ethics. He was a wonderful friend. Please join with me in celebrating his life and remembering all of the amazing things he did and the contributions that he made to dentistry and to society."

On a blog tracking Dr. Bird's illness, this morning his wife Doni posted: "Last night at 11:42 PM, Bill quietly passed away. His daughter Jennifer and I were by his side and holding hands with him."

Dr. Bird was 78 years old.

William Bird, DDS, DPH, was a graduate of Loyola University’s Stritch School of Dentistry, and retired last year after 22 years at the UCSF School of Dentistry, including several years as Interim Chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences (PRDS). He was an innovator and champion in a range of disciplines within dentistry and well beyond, including flying and natural horsemanship.

In recent years he was a prime mover behind the creation of the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program at UCSF Dentistry, which just graduated its first class in June, 2012.

"My passion is helping people with potential to develop themselves" said Bird to Andrew Schwartz, for an appreciation in the most recent UCSF Dentistry Magazine.

Details regarding memorial services will be announced shortly.


Doni and Bill Bird at their ranch in Glen Ellen, CA - February, 2012.  (Photograph by Elisabeth Fall,


2012 UCSF Dentistry Magazine with a feature appreciation of Bill Bird (PDF)