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December 2, 1983

Errors of the Great

JAMA. 1983;250(21):2926. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340210024007

To the Editor.—  The publication of Denslow Lewis' article in the Centennial Issue of The Journal warms the cockles of my heart, as it should for us all. I am, however, astonished that Howard Kelly's opening of the discussion has precipitated no comment. Kelly was not just another bluenosed Victorian. He was one of the four "greats" who made Johns Hopkins a world-renowned institution from a standing start.I suggest that his conduct in this matter is in a class with Meigs' vis-à-vis Holmes or Virchow's vis-à-vis Semmelweiss in the matter of puerperal sepsis. Kelly's stature is equal to that of either of the two unequivocally outstanding physicians. Each showed feet of clay, and Kelly joins that distinguished company in his unreasoned and unreasonable attack on Lewis.We also know that the "father of cellular pathology" booted the diagnosis of carcinoma of the larynx in the case of Frederick, the