Emile Bitar, former Lebanese minister of Health, professor of medicine, was born
on October 21, 1931. He is originated from Kfifane, Batroun, Lebanon.
His father is Wakim Assaf al Bitar (1891-1963), chairman of the Bar Association and Member
of the Lebanese Parliament. His mother is Marie Youssef Arsanios.
Emile Bitar was schooled at the Freres maristes in Tripoli and at the Jesuit college
in Beirut from which he graduated in 1948.
He studied medicine in Montpellier, France. He specialized in rheumatology.
He returned to Lebanon in 1959 and started practicing medicine at his private clinic
He was a founding member and president of the Lebanese Rheumatology Society.
He was head of the rheumatolgy service at the Hotel Dieu de France Hospital and at the
Dr Rizk Clinic.
He taught at the French Faculty of Medicine in Beirut.
On October 13, 1970, at the age of 38, Emile Bitar was appointed Health Minister.
He co-founded Lebanon's Democratic Party in 1969 and presided the Party after his ministerial
When the Lebanese War broke out in 1975, he retired from active politics, refusing to
serve foreign interets. He ceaselessly condemned violence and advocated dialogue and national unity.
In 1980, he was appointed Vice-Rector of the Saint Joseph University.
He passed away at the age of 56 on February 8, 1988, after a three-year battle with illness.
On October, 24, 1964, Emile Bitar married Andree Georges Mikhail Eid al Boustany (born
in Deir el Kamar in 1943). They had two children, Wakim, and Karim.
Wakim Emile Bitar was born on January 25, 1966
Karim Emile Bitar was born on September 25, 1972
Dr Emile Bitar was decorated with the Lebanese National Order of Merit, at the dignity
of Grand Cordon, the very highest Lebanese distinction.