The Dr. Schattner Story
Dr. Robert I. Schattner set out to become a chemist, changed to dentistry and then used his chemical knowledge to develop the pharmaceutical product, Chloraseptic, and become a successful entrepreneur.
Having been raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium in New York, at a very early age, Dr. Schattner caught the entrepreneurial spirit by selling homemade memorabilia to game attendees at Yankee Stadium. As a young man, he and his brothers played in a band that performed at a resort in the Catskills in upstate New York. It has been said that Dr. Schattner was quite the drummer in those days!
Dr. Schattner received a degree in chemistry from City College of New York and went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania Dental School at the age of 23. After graduation, he served a year and a half as a Dental Surgeon for the United States Public Health Service before opening his dental practice in New York City, where he practiced for 9 years.
In 1958, Dr. Schattner sold his dental practice to fund the development of Chloraseptic, his invention that went on to become one of the bestselling sore-throat medications on the market.
Dr. Schattner sold Chloraseptic in 1962 to the Norwich Pharmacal Company.
In 1978, after seven years of research he patented another product, Sporicidin Disinfectant/Sterilant. This product was used by physicians, hospitals and dentists to sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment. It was later found to be effective in eradicating mold. After the sale of Sporicidin in 2008, he retired to his desk where he enjoyed studying the stock market and working on his charts. The sale effectively marked the end of a long career that includes 70 patents and trademarks.
During the years, Dr. Schattner made several efforts to bring a major league baseball team to Washington, DC. He made bids for the Texas-bound Washington Senators in 1971 and the San Diego Padres in 1973. Between 1971 and 1973, he had a half-ownership in the Virginia Squires American Basketball Association franchise. He was also part of a group with John Kent Cooke who made an unsuccessful bid for the Washington Redskins.
Dr. Schattner received numerous awards and recognitions including “Dentist of the Year”
During his long business career Dr. Schattner also served as a Director on various bank Boards including a 20 year stint on the Board of First National Bank of Maryland. He received numerous awards and recognitions including “Dentist of the Year” in 1984. This award was bestowed upon him by the American Association of Entrepreneurial Dentists. He also served on the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Board of Overseers from 2002 to 2017.
Dr. Schattner’s wife of 45 years, Kay Ferrell, was very successful as a model, commentator, spokeswoman for radio and television commercials, newspaper columnist, advertising executive, and she had her own advertising and public relation firm. From 1953 to 1961, she was Woman’s Commentator for a Virginia radio station WFAX. Her one-hour broadcast, “Kay’s Korner,” was heard daily. The show earned her the title of National Radio Star of the Year in 1959. She was a columnist for the Washington Daily News writing three different columns from 1960-1971. Kay Schattner also did radio interviews which enabled her to be the self-proclaimed “only person to interview Robert Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa in the same afternoon”.
Dr. Schattner was a quiet but generous philanthropist, with gifts to the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and the Jewish Day School of Washington, D. C., as well and many other worthy causes.