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May 12, 1999

Robert Anderson Aldrich, MD

Author Affiliations

Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1999;281(18):1762. doi:10.1001/jama.281.18.1762

Robert Anderson Aldrich, MD, was a pediatrician, teacher, and children's advocate, a catalyst to medical and political leaders for improving children's health and understanding human development.

Born in Evanston, Ill, in 1917, Dr Aldrich died in Seattle, Wash, on September 16, 1998, of cardiovascular disease. He graduated from Amherst College in 1939 and Northwestern University Medical School—first in his class—in 1944. He served an internship at Evanston Hospital. In World War II he served as a naval medical officer at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After discharge from naval duty, he completed pediatric residency training followed by a research fellowship at the University of Minnesota. In 1949 he joined the staff of the Mayo Clinic. In 1954 he identified and described the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a serious immunologic disorder of children. In 1951 Dr Aldrich joined the faculty of the University of Oregon School of Medicine as assistant professor of pediatrics. In 1956 he was appointed chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, building the department by adding talent and new teaching methods.

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