Howard Phillip Venable Oral History


Reference code


Level of description



Howard Phillip Venable Oral History


  • July 14, 1990 (Creation)


0.05 Linear Feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

Howard Phillip Venable was born in Windsor, Ontario, and earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit. Venable completed his internship and residency at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in 1942, and the next year became the first African American ophthalmologist to be awarded a master of science degree in ophthalmology from New York University. From 1943 until 1979, Venable served as chair of the department of ophthalmology at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. In 1979 Homer G. Phillips Hospital closed due to financial and political pressures.

Venable was also the first black physician to join the clinical faculty of St. Louis University School of Medicine. He was appointed an instructor in ophthalmology in 1947 and was senior instructor from 1954-1959. In 1959, he was appointed instructor in ophthalmology at Washington University School of medicine, and was later promoted to assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology. Venable was the first African American to serve as an associate examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology, serving from 1969 to 1981.

Scope and content

An interview of the Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project, conducted by Edwin W. McCleskey and associates, 1990. Approximate Length: 1 hour and 16 minutes.

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

The collection is open and accessible for research.

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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 (

Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

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"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

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Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

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