LEWISTON – Legislators will vote on a proposal to rename the South Bridge in honor of a locally raised Nobel-prize winner.

A bill to rename the bridge in honor of cardiologist Bernard Lown has been accepted by legislative leadership for consideration in the upcoming legislative session, state Rep. Richard Wagner, D-Lewiston, announced Tuesday.

Wagner’s proposed bill was initially rejected by the Legislative Council, but he immediately appealed that decision.

“The Lewiston and Auburn city councils unanimously approved renaming the South Bridge in honor of Dr. Lown,” Wagner said in a news release. “How often do Nobel Peace Prize winners and internationally known cardiologists come along?”

Lown, now 86 and living in Massachusetts, was born in Lithuania. He moved to Lewiston in his early teens and attended Lewiston High School and the University of Maine before continuing on to John Hopkins School of Medicine. He co-founded International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1980, and that led to being named for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

He also is recognized as an outstanding cardiologist and is noted for his role in developing the defibrillator.

Lewiston councilors voted to rename the bridge in Lown’s honor in August at a joint meeting of both city councils. Auburn councilors took applications for other names before agreeing to rename the bridge for Lown.


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