[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 17, 1973

P.D.W.—The Gentle Titan Paul Dudley White, June 6, 1886—Oct 31, 1973

JAMA. 1973;226(12):1459. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230120041013

Physician to kings and peasants, presidents and dictators, scientists and laborers; healer and teacher of people and nations, Paul White died of a stroke eight days before he was to receive the American Heart Association's Herrick Award. A Yankee whose forebears stood at Bunker Hill, he witnessed the entire development of modern cardiology, the specialty he helped to establish. Intuitively and scientifically he was always on the right track, whether pursuing some new method of investigation, espousing rational measures for preventing illness, founding lay and scientific organizations to combat heart disease, or breaching international barriers to help and learn from foreign colleagues.

After training with Sir Thomas Lewis, Dr. White brought the first electrocardiograph to the United States, complete with saline bath electrodes and a balky timer that he repaired with the coil from a model T Ford. Subsequently, he developed the cardiology service of the Massachusetts General Hospital, wrote