Robert E. Sandlin, PhD died peacefully on May 3, 2012 in San Diego in the presence of his family and friends.  Dr Sandlin was a distinguished researcher, educator, author, and practice owner.

Sandlin was born on June 17, 1926.  The son of a barber, he came to San Diego at a young age and spent most of his professional career in California and San Diego.  He was known as an audiology educator and clinician not only in the United States, but also in Europe, South America, and the rest of the world.  He contributed texts, articles and lectures, primarily on amplification and related topics, to many in the fields of audiology, tinnitus, and hearing devices.  He served higher education, audiology, and the hearing aid industry in many capacities throughout his long career.  

Dr Sandlin was the second audiologist to earn a PhD from Wayne State University (in 1961), and went on to become a research audiologist at the San Francisco Hearing and Speech Center and also helped found the audiology program at Arizona State University. He then became the associate director of the Speech, Hearing and Neurosensory Center at Children’s Hospital in San Diego from 1970 to 1978, where he played a role in some of the important early work in ABRs and evoked potentials.

In the early 1970s, Dr Sandlin founded the International Hearing Aid Seminar which  was held annually in San Diego for about 20 years and was designed to bring audiologists and dispensers together to learn from each other and to share knowledge about the auditory system. He also started and eventually sold a private practice in San Diego, and taught for many years at San Diego State University. He was a well-known industry consultant and lecturer, and served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) for close to 20 years.

Dr Sandlin was also a prolific writer, and HR is very grateful for the many articles that he contributed during the 1990s and early-2000s. Additionally, his  two-volume Textbook of Hearing Aid Amplification (Singular/Thomson Learning), which was originally published in 1988, is still popular both in the United States and abroad. In particular, it  showcases his ability to bring together some of the world’s best dispensing professionals for an exceptional educational resource.

Dr Sandlin and his wife, Joann, were frequent and welcomed fixtures of the audiological community for decades. In June 2006, nearly 200 friends turned out to “roast” him in a celebration of his life and career on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

HR thanks Michael Metz, PhD, for alerting HR and contributing to some of the above material.