Name and location of repository
Level of description
William B. Kountz Papers
- 1924-1979 (Creation)
2.00 Linear Feet
Name of creator
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, Kountz 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 Kountz 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.
Kountz 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 Kountz was named its director of clinical services. That same year Kountz 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 Kountz's work received additional support through the establishment of a St. Louis-based Gerontological Research Foundation.
Kountz 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 content
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.
System of arrangement
Conditions governing access
The collection is open and accessible for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Gift of Willie Mae Kountz, 1984.
Immediate source of acquisition
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Rules or conventions
"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
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