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Abdul Gaffar, PhD

  • | 10:14 a.m. February 13, 2023
  • East County
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Abdul Gaffar, PhD
December 10, 1939 – February 2, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Abdul Gaffar, PhD; a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and inventor, in Lakewood Ranch FL, on February 2, 2023.

He was born in Rangoon, Burma, on December 10, 1939. He earned his BS in Chemistry and Bacteriology from the University of Karachi, Pakistan, his MS from Brigham Young University, Utah.

In 1968, with a Doctorate in Immunology from The Ohio State University, he joined the Colgate-Palmolive R & D Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. His 37-year career at Colgate started as a research scientist, progressed in 1990 to Vice President of Oral Care Advanced Technology and retired in 2006 as VP of Growth Technology Development, a core group dedicated to searching for innovative technologies for the next generation of personal and home care products. A brilliant scientist with creativity and logical intuition, he was the driving force for the launch of several Colgate products for tartar and plaque control, whitening, gum care and sensitivity. Perhaps he is most acknowledged for his work in the development of Colgate Total, the first multi-benefit toothpaste approved by the FDA for gingivitis claims and endorsed by 31 dental associations around the world for up to 30% gingivitis reduction. In 1998, Business Week magazine hailed it as one of the year’s best products.

Recognized and respected worldwide as an oral care expert, he was the recipient of two prestigious awards: the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 2001 and the American Chemical Society Heroes of Chemistry in 2006. The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame honors the state’s great inventors and invention processes as inspirations for the future generation. The Heroes of Chemistry is awarded to companies and individuals whose work has led to the welfare and advancement of humanity.

He filed 192 US Patent applications and co-authored more than 200 publications in scientific journals.

As part of his tireless pursuit of improving people’s lives, he recently invented with a team of scientists, a novel protective antiviral nasal spray, Covixyl through Salvacion USA, Inc.

He greatly enjoyed traveling around the globe, pursuing innumerable intellectual pursuits, and cherishing time with family and friends. He lived a full and meaningful life, leaving behind a legacy of creativity, philanthropy, inspiration and love.

He is survived by his beloved wife of fifty-three years Maria Cora; his son, Yousuf Gaffar, MD; five grandchildren and many relatives world-wide.

His Celebration of Life is being planned for March 2023 in Lakewood Ranch, FL.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders,


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