ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (AP) _ Benjamin Levich, a former Soviet scientist who developed physico-chemical hydrodynamics before he left that country in 1978, has died at the age of 69.
Levich, a resident of Fort Lee, died Monday at Englewood Hospital.
Levich was the focus of international attention in 1972 he applied for exit visas for himself and his family and was fired from his academic and research posts at Moscow University.
He was chairman of the Institute of Electro-Chemistry in the Soviet Academy of Scientists and became one of the few Soviet scientists ever expelled from the academy, his younger son said.
Scientists from around the world asked the government to let the family emigrate and in 1978 Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., pleaded for his release during a visit to the Soviet Union.
Levich emigrated to Israel, where he was an engineering professor at Tel Aviv University.
He joined City College of New York in 1979, said college spokesman Charles DeCicco. He was an Albert Einstein professor of science and director of the Institute of Applied Chemical Physics at City College.
His son, Evgeny Levich, 38, of Fort Lee, is a physics professor at City College. He and his brother, Alexander Levich, 44, of London, emigrated to Israel in 1975, the younger brother said.
The elder Levich is known for research in a broad range of scientific fields including physics, electrochemistry, fluid mechanics, chemical engineering and heat transfer, DeCicco said.
″Professor Levich epitomized the struggle of Soviet Jewry for dignity and freedom,″ said a statement released by Jerry Goodman, an official of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.
He is survived by his two sons and three grandchildren.