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September 1966

Theodor Billroth: 1829-1894

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(3):354-358. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030356020

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THE MEDICAL world honors Theodor Billroth as one of its greatest sons, the creator of gastrointestinal surgery, the first who dared to challenge laryngeal cancer by means of total excision, the founder of a famous school of surgery, and a genius with strong artistic leanings who raised surgery to the level of an art.

It gives me particular pleasure to offer this account of the life of Theodor Billroth, at the kind suggestion of the editor of this journal, for it was here in Göttingen, in the University Surgical Clinic, a building visible from my study window, that the young Billroth decided to become a surgeon, more than 100 years ago. His decision was not easy one to make; he could equally well have devoted his life to music, of which he had a profound understanding. The striking personality of Wilhelm Baum, at that time professor of surgery at the

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