Crile, George Washington, 1864-1943

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1864-11-11
Death 1943-01-07

Biographical notes:

Surgeon, researcher, and founder of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (generally known as Cleveland Clinic).

From the description of Crile-Quiring field notes and research notebooks, [19--]. (Cleveland Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 70923012

U.S. surgeon.

From the description of Letter, 1908, Sept. 9 : Cleveland, Ohio, to Dr. Lawrason Brown, Trudeau P.O., New York. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 31445438

George Washington Crile was an internationally-known surgeon and co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. He was also a respected medical scientist whose research and writings included surgical shock, glandular function, blood pressure and transfusion, shell shock, and the effects of wartime surgery. He served in the Army Medical Corps during the Spanish American War. During World War I, he was surgical director at the American Ambulance Hospital in Neuilly, France. In 1917, he organized and trained medical personnel from Lakeside Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, who then served at United States Army Base Hospital No. 4 in Rouen, France. In 1921, he co-founded the Cleveland Clinic, serving as president (1921-1940) and as a trustee (1921-1936). In 1913, Crile helped found the American College of Surgeons, and was a member and officer not only of that organization, but also of the American Medical Association, American Surgical Association, Royal Academy of Surgeons, and the Royal Academy of Medicine.

From the description of George Washington Crile papers, 1888-1946 [microform]. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 41881994

From the description of George Washington Crile papers, 1888-1946. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 18445951

George W. Crile (1864-1943) was an internationally-known surgeon and co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a respected medical scientist whose research and writings covered such diverse topics as surgical shock, glandular function, blood pressure and transfusion, shell shock, and the effects of wartime surgery.

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for George Washington Crile

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for the Lakeside Unit/Base Hospital No. 4

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for George Crile, Jr.

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for the Cleveland Clinic Disaster

A native Ohioan, George Crile was born and raised on a Coshocton County farm. After a brief career as a schoolteacher, he attended Wooster Medical College in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating in 1887. After further medical training in Europe, he returned to Cleveland and taught surgery and other medical topics at Wooster Medical College and its successor, Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Crile first became interested in wartime surgery in 1898 when he served in the Army Medical Crops during the Spanish-American War. In 1911, he became a visiting surgeon at Cleveland's Lakeside Hospital, and in 1913 he helped found the American College of Surgeons.

During World War I, Crile served in several military positions. In 1915 he was surgical director at the American Ambulance Hospital in Neuilly, France. In 1917 he organized and trained medical personnel from Lakeside Hospital, who then served at United States Army Base Hospital No. 4 in Rouen, France. Crile was discharged as a full colonel in January 1919, and retained his service commission for the rest of his life.

After World War I, Crile resumed his duties at Lakeside Hospital and Western Reserve University. In 1921, together with doctors William E. Lower, Frank E. Bunts, and John Phillips, he founded the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, which was modeled after the Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota. He retired from Lakeside Hospital in 1924 in order to devote more time to the new Clinic, where he served as the President of the Foundation (1921-1940) and as a Trustee (1921-1936). A hospital was opened in 1924. From the beginning, education and research were emphasized at the Clinic. On May 15, 1929, a fire occurred at the Cleveland Clinic. Lethal gases released by burning x-ray film killed 123 patients and staff and injured 92. In the aftermath of this tragedy, new guidelines for the handling and storage of x-ray film were adopted nationally., local police and fire personnel were provided with gas masks, and safety regulations concerning poison gases were more stringently enforced. The Cleveland Clinic made a slow but sure recovery from the 1929 fire and the effects of the Depression, and eventually became known internationally as a premier research and medical institution.

Dr. Crile conducted research and published many books and papers on a wide range of medical topics. During his service in World War I, Crile conducted research on shell shock, the treatment of war wounds, and the administration of military hospitals. In addition to his earlier work on surgical shock and other aspects of surgery, he published books and articles concerned with thyroid diseases and their treatment, the role of the adrenal glands, life as a form of electrical energy, and the relationship between hypertension and the modern lifestyle. In 1906, he performed the first successful blood transfusion on a human. Other medical and surgical procedures he perfected included an operation for goiter, a form of thyroid disease, and the use of anesthetics.

Dr. Crile received numerous honors and awards throughout his life. He was twice awarded the Cartwright Prize of Columbia University and received from the United States government the Distinguished Service Cross for his service in World War I. In addition to his role in the founding of the American College of Surgeons, he served that organization in a number of executive positions throughout his life. He also was an officer of the American Medical Association and the American Surgical Association, a member of the Royal Academy of Surgeons, and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine. At the start of World War II, he was appointed an honorary consultant to the Medical Department of the United States Navy. He and his wife, Grace McBride Crile (1869-1948), whom he married in 1900, traveled extensively. Many of their trips were research expeditions concerned with natural history and biomedical issues. Dr. Crile died in Cleveland on January 7, 1943, survived by his wife and four children (Elisabeth, George Jr. [Barney], Robert, and Margaret).

From the guide to the George Washington Crile Papers, 1888-1946, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for George Washington Crile

George W. Crile (1864-1943) was an internationally-known surgeon and co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a respected medical scientist whose research and writings covered such diverse topics as surgical shock, glandular function, blood pressure and transfusion, shell shock, and the effects of wartime surgery.

A native Ohioan, George Crile was born and raised on a Coshocton County farm. After a brief career as a schoolteacher, he attended Wooster Medical College in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating in 1887. After further medical training in Europe, he returned to Cleveland and taught surgery and other medical topics at Wooster Medical College and its successor, Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Crile first became interested in wartime surgery in 1898 when he served in the Army Medical Crops during the Spanish-American War. In 1911, he became a visiting surgeon at Cleveland's Lakeside Hospital, and in 1913 he helped found the American College of Surgeons.

During World War I, Crile served in several military positions. In 1915 he was surgical director at the American Ambulance Hospital in Neuilly, France. In 1917 he organized and trained medical personnel from Lakeside Hospital, who then served at United States Army Base Hospital No. 4 in Rouen, France. Crile was discharged as a full colonel in January 1919, and retained his service commission for the rest of his life.

After World War I, Crile resumed his duties at Lakeside Hospital and Western Reserve University. In 1921, together with doctors William E. Lower, Frank E. Bunts, and John Phillips, he founded the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, which was modeled after the Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota. He retired from Lakeside Hospital in 1924 in order to devote more time to the new Clinic, where he served as the President of the Foundation (1921-1940) and as a Trustee (1921-1936). A hospital was opened in 1924. From the beginning, education and research were emphasized at the Clinic. On May 15, 1929, a fire occurred at the Cleveland Clinic. Lethal gases released by burning x-ray film killed 123 patients and staff and injured 92. In the aftermath of this tragedy, new guidelines for the handling and storage of x-ray film were adopted nationally., local police and fire personnel were provided with gas masks, and safety regulations concerning poison gases were more stringently enforced. The Cleveland Clinic made a slow but sure recovery from the 1929 fire and the effects of the Depression, and eventually became known internationally as a premier research and medical institution.

Dr. Crile conducted research and published many books and papers on a wide range of medical topics. During his service in World War I, Crile conducted research on shell shock, the treatment of war wounds, and the administration of military hospitals. In addition to his earlier work on surgical shock and other aspects of surgery, he published books and articles concerned with thyroid diseases and their treatment, the role of the adrenal glands, life as a form of electrical energy, and the relationship between hypertension and the modern lifestyle. In 1906, he performed the first successful blood transfusion on a human. Other medical and surgical procedures he perfected included an operation for goiter, a form of thyroid disease, and the use of anesthetics.

Dr. Crile received numerous honors and awards throughout his life. He was twice awarded the Cartwright Prize of Columbia University and received from the United States government the Distinguished Service Cross for his service in World War I. In addition to his role in the founding of the American College of Surgeons, he served that organization in a number of executive positions throughout his life. He also was an officer of the American Medical Association and the American Surgical Association, a member of the Royal Academy of Surgeons, and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine. At the start of World War II, he was appointed an honorary consultant to the Medical Department of the United States Navy. He and his wife, Grace McBride Crile (1869-1948), whom he married in 1900, traveled extensively. Many of their trips were research expeditions concerned with natural history and biomedical issues. Dr. Crile died in Cleveland on January 7, 1943, survived by his wife and four children (Elisabeth, George Jr. [Barney], Robert, and Margaret).

From the guide to the George Washington Crile World War I Photographs, 1915-1919, (Western Reserve Historical Society)

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Subjects:

  • Birds--Anatomy
  • Crile, George Washington, 1864-1943
  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • World War, 1939-1945--Medical care
  • United States. Army. A.E.F., 1917-1919. Base hospital no. 4--Photograph collections
  • Crile family
  • Medicine--Research--United States
  • Anatomical specimens
  • Scientific expeditions--Central America
  • Crile, Grace
  • Anatomy, Comparative--Research
  • Crile, George Washington, 1864-1943--Photograph collections
  • Hospitals
  • Mammals--Anatomy
  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation--Fire, 1929
  • Scientific expeditions--North America
  • Vivisection--United States
  • Military hospitals
  • World War, 1914-1918--Hospitals
  • United States. Army. Base Hospital No. 4
  • Glands
  • Physicians--Ohio--Cleveland
  • World War, 1914-1918--Medical care
  • Military hospitals--France
  • World War, 1914-1918--Medical care--Photographs
  • Scientific expeditions--Africa
  • Amphibians--Anatomy
  • Reptiles--Anatomy
  • Organs (Anatomy)
  • Physicians
  • Medicine--Research
  • Spanish--American War, 1898--Medical care
  • Vivisection
  • Hospitals--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Scientific expeditions
  • World War, 1914-1918--Hospitals--Photographs

Occupations:

  • Surgeons
  • Designer
  • College teachers

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • Central America (as recorded)
  • Africa (as recorded)
  • Central America (as recorded)
  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Florida--Key West (as recorded)
  • Ohio--Cleveland (as recorded)
  • Africa (as recorded)
  • Ohio--Cleveland (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • North America (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Africa (as recorded)
  • North America (as recorded)