American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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Obituaries

From the November 1998 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 1998 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Edward W. Hook Jr., MACP

Edward W. Hook Jr., MACP, who served as College President from 1985 to 1986 and President Emeritus since 1989, died on Oct. 5, 1998. He was 74 years old and lived in Charlottesville, Va.

Before entering Emory University School of Medicine in 1944, Dr. Hook served briefly as a medical corpsman during World War II. After graduating in 1949 and completing an internship at the University of Minnesota, he served as a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. Afterward, Dr. Hook returned to Emory University to complete his residency.

After serving at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Cornell University Medical College, Dr. Hook became the chair of the internal medicine department at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1969, a position he held for 21 years. During his tenure, he championed research, founded the primary care internal medicine residency program and the medical school's center for biomedical ethics. In 1990, Dr. Hook founded the medical school's program of humanities in medicine, which he directed until 1996 and remained active in until his death.

Dr. Hook's service to the College began with his tenure as Governor for the Virginia Chapter from 1975 to 1979. He served as College Regent from 1980 to 1984 and as President from 1985 to 1986. While ACP President, he was instrumental in choosing the site for the College's new headquarters building.

Dr. Hook also chaired the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program's advisory board for 10 years and was a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Leroy E. Burney, FACP

Leroy E. Burney, FACP, former Governor of the U.S. Public Health Service Region and Surgeon General from 1956 to 1961, died July 31, 1998. He was 91 years old.

Dr. Burney was the first federal official to publicly identify smoking as a cause of lung cancer. In 1957, he organized a group of scientists to appraise studies on smoking and health, issuing a report that claimed "there is an increasing and consistent body of evidence" linking cigarettes to cancer. In an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1959, Dr. Burney strengthened his earlier report, citing smoking as "the principal" cause of lung cancer.

Born in 1906 in Burney, Ind., a town founded by his great-grandfather, he received a bachelor's degree in 1928 and a medical degree in 1930 from Indiana University. His internship was served at the U. S. Marine Hospital in Chicago, and he earned a public health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Burney first joined the Public Health Service in 1932 and, in 1937, set up the country's first mobile venereal disease clinic in Brunswick, Ga., expressly serving the African-American community. He worked with the Navy to control sexually transmitted diseases during World War II, later becoming an Indiana state health officer before his appointment as the country's eighth Surgeon General, serving during the Eisenhower administration. Approving the Sabin oral polio vaccine for use in the United States in 1960, he also worked to improve medical care for the elderly in nursing homes and to champion environmental health concerns.

Upon retiring from the Public Health Service in 1961, Dr. Burney became vice president for health sciences at Philadelphia's Temple University.

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