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Dr. James Sorrentino, 75, Wilton Clinical Researcher

Dr. James V. Sorrentino
Dr. James V. Sorrentino

WILTON, Conn. – Dr. James V. Sorrentino of Wilton died suddenly on Dec. 23 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 75.

He was born Jan. 24, 1937, in Seymour, Conn., to James V. Sr. and Sophia Madolinski Sorrentino. He was the founder and president of Health Care Products Development since 1992.

He grew up in Ansonia, Conn., and received a bachelor's degree in biology from Catholic University in 1958. He received a master's degree in microbiology in 1960 and a Ph.D. in virology in 1966.

Sorrentino began his career at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In 1967, he joined Merrell-National Biological Laboratories in Swiftwater, Pa. In collaboration with Dr. Don Metzgar, he developed the first purified vaccines for influenza and meningitis and improved the yellow fever vaccine.

He then joined the consumer products division of Richardson-Vicks in 1974, ultimately becoming the director of drug products research. In 1985, he became executive vice president of research and development at Proctor & Gamble in Shelton. He retired in 1992 and immediately founded Healthcare Product Development in Norwalk, a pharmaceutical clinical trial firm. He retired in 2008.

He always took the opportunity to help young people advance academically and professionally, his family said. He was an active parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Church since 1975. Sorrentino enjoyed attending his granddaughters' musical and theatrical performances, cheering on his grandson in Little League, AAU, and OLF basketball teams. He had passion for horse racing, the Washington Redskins, the New York Yankees, and golf.

Sorrentino is survived by his wife, Penny; a son, James Jacob Sorrentino, of New York City; two daughters, Lisa (Martin Strmeeki) Sorrentino, of Wilton, and Patricia Sorrentino Adams, of Bellvue, Colo..; a sister, Constance Thompson, of Palm Coast, Fla.; four grandchildren and a nephew.

Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Hoyt-Cognetta Funeral Home and Crematory in Norwalk. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sandy Hook School Fund through Newtown Savings Bank.

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