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William B. Kountz Papers | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Collection Overview

Title: William B. Kountz PapersAdd to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1924-1979

ID: FC/FC045

Extent: 2.0 Linear Feet

Biographical/Historical Note

William B. Kountz was born in Saxton, Missouri in 1896 and attended schools in nearby St. Joseph. He entered Washington University as an undergraduate in 1918 and (without formally completing a bachelor’s degree) continued on through medical school, graduating in 1926. Until 1928 WBK was an intern and resident physician at Barnes, St. Louis Maternity, and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals. He then became a physician with the cardiovascular service of the Washington University Dispensary. The award of a national Research Council Fellowship offered WBK the opportunity for further training abroad, and for eighteen months beginning in 1930 he visited hospitals in Britain, Germany, and Egypt. (He later recalled that the chance to study Egyptian mummies inspired his interest in aging.) He returned in late 1931 to join the clinical faculty of the School and to launch he career as a leading cardiologist in St. Louis.

WBK served on the staff of Barnes and Lutheran Hospitals, but became particularly well known for his treatment and study of aged patients at the St. Louis City Infirmary (later, St. Louis Chronic Hospital) on Arsenal Street. In 1938 he helped establish a special geriatrics research unit at the Infirmary. In 1946 WUSM organized a Division of Gerontology based at the Chronic Hospital and WBK was named its director of clinical services. That same year WBK became a founding member of the American Society for the Study of Arteriosclerosis, which later became a branch of the American Heart Association. In 1954 WBK’s work received additional support through the establishment of a St. Louis-based Gerontological Research Foundation.

WBK died in 1962. He was succeeded as head of the Division of Gerontology by John Esben Kirk, under whom the program continued until 1973.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Kountz papers are arranged in five short series, including one (Series 5) comprising correspondence received by his wife, Willie Mae Kountz, after his death. In general, the papers reflect to a significant extent Mrs. Kountz’s selections of materials to document her husband’s career. Included are correspondence, press clippings, and publications.

[FC045]

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (arb@wusm.wustl.edu).

Related Materials:

Preferred Citation: [Item description, Box number, Folder number], William B. Kountz Papers, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Alphabetical Correspondence Files, 1930-1965.],
[Series 2: Chronological Press Clipping and Correspondence Files, 1932-1965.],
[Series 3: Gerontological Research Foundation Publications, 1959-1962.],
[Series 4: Scientific Publications, 1924-1955.],
[Series 5: Correspondence of Willie Mae Kountz, 1967-1979.],
[All]

Series 2: Chronological Press Clipping and Correspondence Files, 1932-1965.Add to your cart.
The items in this series are mainly clippings from the local St. Louis press, photocopied for content preservation, with correspondence and other items interspersed among them.  Chronological arrangement.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1932, a Barnes Hospital patient's appreciation.Add to your cart.
Folder 2: 1937, machine to resuscitate a human heart.Add to your cart.
Folder 3: 1942, experiment on the heart of an executed prisoner.Add to your cart.
Folder 4: 1943, WBK's research at the City Infirmary.Add to your cart.
Folder 5: 1947, geriatric research at the City Infirmary.Add to your cart.
Folder 6: 1949, WBK addresses professional and lay audiences.Add to your cart.
Folder 7: 1950, WBK addresses gerontological societies.Add to your cart.
Folder 8: 1951, proposals to improve the lives of senior citizens.Add to your cart.
Folder 9: 1952, WBK addresses Post-Graduate Assembly of South Texas.Add to your cart.
Folder 10: 1953, WBK addresses American Heart Association, UCLA physicians.Add to your cart.
Folder 11: 1954, St. Louis Center for Senior Citizens and other public events.Add to your cart.
Folder 12: 1955, oxygen consumption, exercise, and health.Add to your cart.
Folder 13: 1956, hormone supplements.Add to your cart.
Folder 14: 1957, "anticipatory medicine".Add to your cart.
Folder 15: 1958, alumni honors, research at Chronic Hospital, etc.Add to your cart.
Folder 16: 1959, professional honors, Metropolitan Church Federation programs.Add to your cart.
Folder 17: 1963, 1965, obituaries, posthumous honors.Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Undated, various topics.Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Alphabetical Correspondence Files, 1930-1965.],
[Series 2: Chronological Press Clipping and Correspondence Files, 1932-1965.],
[Series 3: Gerontological Research Foundation Publications, 1959-1962.],
[Series 4: Scientific Publications, 1924-1955.],
[Series 5: Correspondence of Willie Mae Kountz, 1967-1979.],
[All]

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