Dr. Stephen Ryan, a board member of Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc., died Monday after a short illness.

He was 72.

Ryan, an ophthalmic surgeon, had served on Allergan’s board since 2002 and had announced his retirement from the board effective at Allergan’s annual shareholders meeting, which starts today.

Ryan had extensive experience in the fields of retinal disease and ocular trauma. He served as president of the Doheny Eye Institute and dean of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He also was a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.

“Steve, in all his modesty, was one of the greatest retinal surgeons and worldwide ophthalmic experts and in fact, trained many of today’s global leaders in ophthalmology,” Allergan Chief Executive David Pyott said in a release.

“During our many years of working together, I have valued Steve’s perspective and guidance. All of us who have had the privilege of working with Steve will miss him greatly, not only as a colleague but as a friend,” Pyott said.