Bart Kamen

Posted by Libby on her Facebook today. I’m too sad to say anything more.

"Last night, the world lost an incredible man. My superhero, my Daddyman. Bart Kamen, MD, PhD, incredible father and husband, passed away last night after 16 months of fighting cancer. I thank all of you that have been with me on this long, exhausting journey for all your love and support. I am home with my mom and will be for a while before heading back to Clarkson. If you would like information about our services or anything else, please send me a message. "

My thoughts go out to the Kamen family for their loss. Losing a part of your family can be a very difficult time, and we are all here to support you. RIP Bart Kamen.

Bart was an awesome guy. I had the pleasure of meeting him several times at CMP. He would play his saxaphone for the judges and was also one of the Chairman’s Award judges at CMP (probably one of THE most difficult judging positions in FIRST).

We will miss you Bart!

One of the unwritten tenets of FIRST is family. Although FIRST is Dean’s baby, he has shone the light on his mother, father, brother, niece, among others in a very public and gracious way.
Whether we realize it or not, we’ve all been touched by the works of Dr. Kamen - through his TED talks, through his research and scores of publications in pediatric oncology, or perhaps more directly through his daughter. What an incredible life, what an incredible legacy.
Thoughts with all the Kamen family.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Libby, her mother and the rest of the Kamen family. It was always a pleasure to talk with Bart. He will be missed.

The NUTRONs send our condolences to the entire Kamen family. Bart was an amazing man.

Rest in peace to one of the best, most fair, and honest judges at FIRST events and one of the coolest people to talk to. Best wishes to the entire family.

The Thunderhaws send our condolences to the Kamen family. Bart was a truly great man.

What a devastating loss! My heart goes out to the Kamens.

Even though I have seen him judge at countless events over the years, I can only recall two conversations I ever personally had with Bart. The first was at the very first Regional event I ever attended…the 2002 Long Island Regional. Bart was a judge, of course. I was a pimply-faced, smart-mouthed, (sometimes troublemaking) junior in high school and really had no idea what I had gotten myself into. On Friday morning, Bart came to our pit and I was one of the students he approached - he was the first judge I ever spoke to. I didn’t know much about robots, mechanisms, or programming then…but I had enthusiasm to spare! We talked about the robot a little bit, but Bart was a lot more interested in hearing about our team, which already felt like a family to me, and what we were getting out of the program. He asked about my future plans and I remember telling him I really had no idea, but that computer programming was something that interested me. He encouraged me to try my hand at it with the robot in the following season.

Our robot in 2002 was not very good, but we were awarded the Team Spirit award for our collective enthusiasm about our team and FIRST. I remember feeling ecstatic about the award - the first trophy I had won since Tee ball. In 2003, I became the team’s lead programmer and we went to Einstein. I never looked back.

Flash forward a decade to 2012 at the Hatboro-Horsham District Event. Once again I crossed paths with Bart, being (re-)introduced by our regional director Donald Bowers. I told Bart about my past ten years…a master’s degree, a job in robotics, and continued mentorship of my alma mater. Bart hung on every word and when I was done thanking him for the push in the right direction ten years prior, he gave me a firm hand shake and had a beaming smile across his face.

It will feel very strange not to see Bart at any competitions this year. But if there is a heaven, I’m pretty freaking sure that he will meet the entrance criteria.

Emphasis this. It was always a joy getting to talk with Bart as a judge. RIP

One of my favorite moments in my FIRST career was sitting on the couch in the kitchen at Dean’s house during the Founder’s Reception, listening to Bart tell stories about Dean, and about the early days of FIRST. You will be missed…

On behalf of team 191 the X-Cats we send our deepest sympathies to the Kamen family in this most difficult time.

Libby’s Dad loved to do magic tricks. The ones he showed me were simple ones such as making a coin appear and disappear. He had this way of weaving stories of his life through his magic that he shared so readily and beautifully. I have always thought about the gifts that he gave of himself and shared with his young patients and their families. It has made me want to be a kinder and more gentle person because of it. He was tough where it counted and that toughness was girded by humor, delight in others, and inspiration.

Thinking of you and your family, Libby.


The shock of the news of Bart’s passing will, as we go into the new year, become a greater chasm as we miss him as a judge, and as the Kamen family misses him as a father, husband, son and brother. We need to use Bart’s example as a judge to bring our efforts as judges to a higher plane, to continue to reward and inspire, as he has done for us.

On behalf of Team 2410, BV CAPS Metal Mustang Robotics, we send our condolences to the Kamen family. It seems to be a tough year for STEM; losing so many of the best and brightest.

I’m kind of at a loss for words.

Way back when 1676 won the Rookie All-Star award at the NJ Regional, Bart stopped by after the ceremony to congratulate us. I had no idea who he was, but his warmth and genuine admiration made a lasting impression.

And he kept stopping by to congratulate us as we won new awards over the years. He was really excited for me when I was awarded WFFA at the MAR CMP last year. I always asked him how his classic Mercedes was doing, a beautiful convertible.

He really made us feel the power of our accomplishments.

Life just isn’t fair. :frowning:

My deepest sympathy to the Kamen family.

On behalf of team 2705, WE ROBOT, we send our condolences to the entire Kamen family during this difficult time.

I am privileged to have had the opportunity to meet him, and get to know his family. Words cannot express everything wonderful that he has accomplished. To Libby, Ruth, and the rest of the Kamen family my heart is with you and always will be. Bart was one of the best and my family and I send our condolences. All my love.

I am in shock right now.

Dr. Bart Kamen was an inspiration to all of us. He will be very missed by the FIRST community and by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. Team 75 sends its condolences to the Kamen family, we are so sorry for your loss. Rest In Peace.