Died: March 4, 2014
Married: Lilo Guggenheim
Children: Susan Levine Fox; Wendy Levine; David Levine
He was born in Richmond, Va., a son of Samuel Levine, a tailor from Lithuania, and his wife Leah, born in Newcastle, England. He grew up in Lake City, South Carloina. He was admitted to MIT at 16, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. During World War II he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1949, while attending Columbia University, he contracted tuberculosis and came to the Trudeau Sanatorium for the cure. During his convalescence he met Lilo Guggenheim, a nurse and herself a former patient at Trudeau. They were married in 1950 and moved to Charlottesville. In 1954 Mel earned a Ph.D in physics from the University of Virginia. He was employed for several years at Babcock and Wilcox, a leading technology firm in Lynchburg, Virginia, and later at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, where he was a senior scientist in the department of nuclear reactor safety.
He served as an adjunct professor of Nuclear Engineering at Columbia University and as Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. After retirement, he volunteered as a math teacher in local prisons and as a computer instructor at St. Bernard's School. He also served on the board of the Saranac Lake Free Library.