He was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1929 to Ben and Ester Like, émigrés from the impoverished villages of the Ukraine, Russia. The third of four children, Art excelled in school, graduated from Evander Childs High School at the age of 16, and went on to receive a Bachelor's of Science degree from City College of New York.
Art received his M.D. from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He then began his residency training and then a medical fellowship at the University of Rochester to become a pathologist.
While at the University of Rochester, Art met and fell in love with Carol Hemmings, a nursing student, also at the U of R, whom he married and enjoyed 41 years together. Shortly after being married, Art entered the U.S. Army, and served as a captain in Germany from 1958-1960. After leaving the Army, he moved to Boston, where he worked at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Brigham and Women's), the Joslin Diabetes Center, and as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.
In 1974, he left the Joslin and began working and teaching at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass) in Worcester, becoming one of a handful of research scientists to launch fruitful research careers at the new medical school.
Art devoted over four decades of his life to his research into the causes of diabetes. He was one of a select number of basic research scientists to be successful in obtaining successive long-term grants from the National Institutes for Health, which supported his laboratory and his animal breeding facility at UMass. He was a prolific writer of scientific papers.
For those in his field, Art Like was a renowned and respected figure. His search for the truth was unwavering. As a Professor of Pathology at UMass, he taught and trained new medical students, running the second-year pathology course and in this way, helping to imprint his knowledge on generations of new doctors who came through UMass. He helped established a pathology residency training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He also continued to practice as a clinical pathologist both at UMass and at the Brigham & Women's Hospital, where he enjoyed working alongside medical residents, fellows, and other pathologists, always taking a keen interest in their professional and personal lives.
After suffering the loss of his first wife, Arthur married Elizabeth “Betty” Woodward. Art and Betty shared 13 years together, doting on their shared 12 children, 28 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.
Art is survived by his beloved wife. Betty; late wife Carol; brother Irving; sister Lil; 12 children: Ben, Betsy, Gail, David, Sarah, Chick, Linda, Cindy, Ken, Krista, Tim, and Matt; 28 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Also survived by Edwin and Anne Seaberg, Ruth and Charles Scott, Doug and Debbie Hemmings, and Bruce Hemmings.
Art was interested in photography, classical music, opera, traveling, and his family.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Art's family Tuesday, June 11, from 4 to 7 p.m., in the Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, 648 Main St., Shrewsbury. A service of Remembrance and burial will be held Wednesday, June 12, at 11 a.m., in the Chapel at Newton Cemetery of Newton.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Joslin Diabetes Center, 1 Joslin Place, Suite 745, Boston, MA 02215 (www.joslin.org).