Obituary—Dr René Marti

01. June 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr René Marti, AO Foundation Past President (2002-2004)

Written by Chris van der Werken, AO Foundation Past President (2006-2008)


René was born in 1939 in St Margrethen, Switzerland and passed away in St Gallen, Switzerland on May 22, 2018 at the age of 79. He is survived by his beloved wife Doris. René was an original thinker, a virtuous surgeon, a great teacher and a warm doctor to his patients. His patients, co-workers and residents all loved him dearly and he was renowned by his AO friends for his generosity and hospitality at his historical canal home in Amsterdam. His teacher Hardy Weber was both a close friend and surgical role model.

Since René's appointment as professor at the University of Amsterdam in 1973 he was the godfather of operative fracture treatment and reconstructive skeletal surgery and the pioneer of the AO in The Netherlands. Whilst establishing the AO there he also travelled the world to spread the AO gospel. 

All his patient-cases were completely documented with decades long follow-ups. Many of his clinical studies were published in peer reviewed journals. One of the many highlights of his illustrious medical career were his seminal books on Concepts and Cases in Nonunion Treatment and Osteotomies for Posttraumatic Deformities. 

René found time for two other significant passions outside his work, collecting art (he ran an art gallery in Amsterdam with Doris) and travelling. Together Doris and René enjoyed a very full life.

With René’s passing we have lost not only one of our Past Presidents but also an icon and pioneer of the AO Foundation. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues.    


Nikolaus Renner                               Chris van der Werken
President AO Foundation                   Past President AO Foundation 


Icon René Marti (C) during a practical exercise
Icon Handover of Presidency, Prof Dr René Marti (L) and Prof Dr James Kellam (R)
Icon From left: René Marti, Chris van der Werken, Paul Manson, and Norbert Hass.
Icon René Marti, delivers a speech during the Administration Meeting at the AO Foundation Meeting, Crete (GR), June 2003
Icon René and Doris Marti during the welcome reception, Assembly of Trustees Meeting, Lima (PE), June 2013
Icon The AO Foundation Past Presidents at the AO Davos Courses, 2012. Front row from left Suthorn Bavonratanavech, Jaime Quintero, Norbert Haas, and Christopher Colton. Back row from left Paul Manson, Peter Matter, Chris van der Werken, James Kellam, René Marti, Rolf Jeker (CEO and Vice-Chairman), and Joseph Schatzker.