RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Brazilian playwright Pedro Bloch, who was also a physician and author of 100 books, died of a lung disorder Monday at his home here, his family said yesterday. He was 89.
Known mainly as a playwright, Dr. Bloch was the first Brazilian of his generation with a play on Broadway, with the 1952 production of "Conscience." He wrote 20 other plays, one of which, "The Hands of Eurydice," was translated into a dozen languages and performed in 40 countries. Many of his dramatic works were monologues, often dealing with the psychological isolation of modern life. Later plays, such as "Dona Xepa," looked at the division between rich and poor in Brazil. In the 1970s, the characters from "Dona Xepa" formed the basis for a popular television soap opera.
Born in 1914 in Ukraine, Dr. Bloch came to Brazil as a child when his family, which was Jewish, fled persecution.
In Brazil, Dr. Bloch flourished. As a medical student, he cofounded an influential scientific journal called "Science and Letters." During a 60-year medical practice, he pioneered speech therapy in Brazil, writing dozens of books on the subject and founding The Brazilian Speech Rehabilitation Association.
As a speech therapist, he specialized in helping children, work which inspired more books, this time in the field of children's literature. In all, he published more than 100 works, ranging from drama to speech theory and children's stories.
He leaves his wife of 56 years, Miriam Bloch. He was due to be buried in Rio de Janeiro's Jewish Cemetery yesterday afternoon.