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Thanks to a lifesaver

Patricia Sullivan

Lester Shubin, who died Nov. 20, saved, by conservative estimates, the lives of 3,000 law enforcement professionals by figuring out how to use Kevlar for bullet-proof vests. Actually, his co-developer, Nick Montanarelli, wants me to call them "soft-body armor" because nothing is truly bulletproof. Nevertheless, thanks to these two men, "There are thousands of people enjoying Thanksgiving with their families because of your Dad's ideas, tenacity and commitment to the highest professional standards," the former director of the National Institute of Justice told the Shubin family in an e-mail message.

Our obit will tell you all about how these now-ubiquitous Kevlar vests came to be. Police and military are still using upgraded versions of them, with soldiers adding metal plates to deflect the high-velocity rifle shots, shrapnel and the like. We thought it a fitting Thanksgiving Day obit.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  November 26, 2009; 11:36 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan  
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