Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.
Donald W. Goodwin, MD, died August 16,
1999, at his home in Kansas City, Mo, where he and his family lived after
he returned to the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1976 to take up
his appointment as professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry.
In 1995, after stepping down from his administrative responsibilities, he
was named University Distinguished Professor. His death was sudden and presumed
to be the result of an acute cardiac event. He was 67 years old.
Dr Goodwin graduated from Baker University in Kansas in 1953. He received
his MD degree in 1964 from the University of Kansas. After medical school,
he served as a resident in psychiatry at Washington University in St Louis,
Mo, and remained there as a member of the faculty until 1976, when he moved
back to the University of Kansas. He served in the US Army during the Korean
War and worked as a newspaperman in New York City before deciding to return
to Kansas for premedical courses and then medical school.
Dr Goodwin's career was noteworthy for combining his considerable skill
as a writer and his interest in psychiatric research with a particular focus
on alcoholism. He was a pioneer in the study of the genetics of alcoholism,
beginning his work when he developed a collaborative effort between colleagues
at Washington University and at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The
latter group had acquired a roster of adoptees in Copenhagen and Denmark and
worked with colleagues at Washington University, headed by Dr Goodwin, to
carry out extensive follow-up and family studies. Their results, clearly indicating
a hereditary predisposition to alcoholism, have since been confirmed many
times over the world. Dr Goodwin authored many books and scientific articles.
He received numerous awards and international recognition, especially for
his aforementioned work in alcoholism.
Dr Goodwin had a lifelong interest in writing and literature, and he
was a marvelous raconteur. He had a contagious sense of humor and loved to
converse with a wide range of friends and acquaintances over a broad range
of subjects, including biographies of writers, history, politics, and the
future of psychiatry.
Dr Goodwin is survived by his mother, Georgia M. Goodwin of Overland
Park, Kan; his wife, Sarah H. Goodwin; 3 daughters and their spouses, Catlin
and John Hendel, Rockville, Md, Mary and Alistair Scriven, Salt Lake City,
Utah, and Sarah and Mark Fortino, Olathe, Kan; and 1 son and spouse, William
and Tonia Goodwin, Grainfield, Kan. He left 7 grandchildren.
His was a very interesting and appealing personality. He will truly
be missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and patients.
Guze SB. Donald W. Goodwin, MD. JAMA. 1999;282(17):1687. doi:10.1001/jama.282.17.1687