UM professor loses battle to cancer

Law student Tyler Kirk, Sailor, Professor Bruce Winick and Bruno Brittney Bomnin // File Photo

Bruce J. Winick, an esteemed University of Miami law professor, passed away early Thursday from complications of cancer at the age of 65.

Winick was known for more than 36 years of teaching and advocacy, revolutionizing mental health law.

The first Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law in 2009, Winick focused his work on therapeutic jurisprudence, a field that focuses on human dignity and worth in the legal system.

Winick, who was often seen around campus with his seeing-eye dog, lost the majority of his eyesight in his late 20s and was an inspiration to many visually impaired students.

He was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a congenital disorder that causes gradual deterioration of sight.

“Bruce will be deeply missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his daughter, our colleague Margot Winick, his family and his many, many friends,” President Donna E. Shalala said in a statement released Thursday.

According to Margot Winick, assistant vice president of media relations and multimedia at UM, students, friends and colleagues have been posting their appreciation for Winick on his Facebook fan page and on her personal page.

“On behalf of the whole family, we’re touched by the outpouring of support and tribute we are receiving,” Margot Winick said. “The response has been really touching and beautiful, and the family just appreciates that warmth.”

The School of Law will be holding a celebration of his life for the university community. Details regarding the memorial have yet to be confirmed.

Alexandra Leon may be contacted at