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Dickinson W. Richards

Dickinson W. RichardsAKA Dickinson Woodruff Richards Jr.

Born: 30-Oct-1895
Birthplace: Orange, NJ
Died: 23-Feb-1973
Location of death: Lakeville, CT
Cause of death: Natural Causes

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Cardiac catheterization

Military service: US Army (1917-19, Lt.)

Fascinated by German physician Werner Forssmann's account of self-catheterization, physician and physiologist Dickinson W. Richards and his colleague André F. Cournand devised a technique to catheterize the heart, and studied the effects of this treatment in cases of traumatic shock, congenital heart diseases, heart failure, and chronic cardiac and pulmonary diseases. For this research, Richards, Cournand, and Forssmann shared the 1956 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. For several years he edited The American Review of Tuberculosis, and he served as a senior editor for The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, one of the most widely respected medical texts.

His friend Cournand described Richards as "modest to the point of shyness". He dropped out of Yale to serve in the artillery in World War I, and when he returned to the academic life he married his first serious girlfriend, who had been his lab assistant.

Father: Dickinson Woodruff Richards (attorney)
Mother: Sally Lambert Richards
Wife: Constance Burrell Riley Richards (lab technician, m. Sep-1931)
Daughter: Ida Elizabeth Chamberlin
Daughter: Gertrude Woodruff Russell
Daughter: Ann Huntington Richards
Daughter: Constance Lord Richards

    High School: The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT (1913)
    University: BA Literature, Yale University (1917)
    University: MA Physiology, Columbia University (1922)
    Medical School: MD, Columbia University (1923)
    Scholar: National Institute for Medical Research, London (1927-28)
    Professor: Medicine, Columbia University (1947-61)

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1956, with Werner Forssmann and André F. Cournand
    French Legion of Honor 1963
    American Medical Association
    New York Presbyterian Hospital Staff Physician (1923-31)
    Merck Consultant (1935-73)

Author of books:
Circulation of the Blood: Men and Ideas (1982, co-author Alfred P. Fishman)


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