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June 18, 1982

'Country doctor' passes from publishing scene

JAMA. 1982;247(23):3177. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320480009004

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When Howard Franklin Conn, MD, died April 17 at the age of 73, he was in the unique situation of having two distinct but equally enviable reputations.

Locally, he was perhaps the best-known citizen of Uniontown, a historic (dating to an 18th century frontier fort) county seat community of about 20,000 in a farming and mining area along "the West Virginia corner" of Pennsylvania. He was born nearby, raised his family (five children) there, and practiced in the locality from 1939 on.

Nationally, and to some extent internationally, his name was linked with his editorship of Current Therapy and other medical reference books, 52 editions of which have been published in six languages.

"Imagine the influence this country doctor has had on the practice of medicine in the United States since he first published Current Therapy in 1949, and annually since then," says John J. Hanley, president of the WB