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May 1961

Rudolph Matas, A Biography of One of the Great Pioneers in Surgery

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):790-791. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050156025

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A little more than a hundred years ago on 12 September, 1860, Rudolph Matas, the only son of a physician, business man, and displaced old-world Spaniard, was born in the sultry, boggy Mississippi River country at Bonnet Carre, 50 miles down the Mississippi from New Orleans. Ninety-seven years later, blind, ravaged by the decay and immobilized by the decrepitudes of old age, he was at length permitted to die. He had been supported by infusions, injections, and feeding by stomach tube for more than a year of twilight sleep, sustained long months in the fantastic manner of our time as a tissue culture. In the century spanning these two dates Rudolph Matas achieved international distinction as a surgeon, widespread fame as a teacher; love, admiration, and almost adoration from a large body of patients, students, and associates. He had a remarkable romantic attachment to a married woman, Adrienne Goslle Landry,

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