Herrick, James Bryan, 1861-....

Alternative names
Birth 1861-08-11
Death 1954-03-07

Biographical notes:

Chicago physician.

From the description of Papers, 1886-1953 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52247981

Student at the University of Michigan.

From the description of James B. Herrick papers, 1878-1882. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34421894

James B. Herrick was born on August 11, 1861 in Oak Park, Illinois. He received an A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1882 and taught high school in Peoria, Illinois, and then for three years in Oak Park, Illinois. In 1885, during his last year of teaching, he began medical studies at Rush Medical College and graduated in 1888. After a one-year internship at Cook County Hospital, he went into private practice while teaching at Rush and at Women's Medical College.

During his career Herrick was active in professional organizations. He served as a member of the boards of Lewis Institute and of the McCormick Institute for Infectious Diseases, as well as president of the Society of Medical History of Chicago, the American Association for the History of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Heart Association. He was also founder and first president of the Chicago Heart Association and of the Chicago Society of Internal Medicine.

Herrick was a frequent contributor to medical journals and is best known for his work on two topics: sickle-cell anemia and heart disease. He was the first to observe them (in 1904) in a young black patient who had come to him to have a sore on his ankle examined. In 1910 Herrick also wrote his first article on angina pectoris, and in subsequent articles he constantly encouraged clinical recognition and treatment of coronary thrombosis and myocardial infarction, which at that time were most frequently diagnosed in the morgue. Herrick also published three books: Handbook of Medical Diagnosis (1895); A Short History of Cardiology (1942); and Memories of Eighty Years (1949).

Herrick made several trips to Europe for post-graduate study, and even returned to University of Chicago classrooms in order to familiarize himself with the advancements in bio-, physical, and organic chemistry and their medical applications. Herrick's colleagues considered him a hardworking, logical and practical physician, and those qualities were recognized in his appointment to the Judicial Council of the A.M.A. in 1928, on which he served for six years. He was also the recipient of the Kober medal of the American Association of Physicians in 1930. Herrick died in 1954 and was buried near his summer home in Dorset, Vermont.

From the guide to the Herrick, James Brian. Papers, 1886-1953, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)


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  • Physicians
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Heart disease


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