He was born August 9, 1938, in Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and graduated from East High School in Duluth, Minnesota. A Kirkland House resident and member of Phillips Brooks House while at Harvard, he received his A.B. in 1961. He then entered the McGill University Faculty of Medicine, in Montreal, completing his M.D. in 1965, and did his residence in radiology at Temple University, in Philadelphia.
Drafted into the army, he spent a year in Vietnam.
In 1972 he and his wife moved to California, where he set up a private radiology practice, Salen & Botvin, in Pomona.
He was an avid fly-fisherman.
He was survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Michele (Wehrle).