Name and location of repository
Level of description
James L. O'Leary Photographs and Certificates
- 1931-1974 (Creation)
- 1931-1974 (Creation)
0.15 Linear Feet
Name of creator
James L. O'Leary was born on December 8, 1904 in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. At the age of two, his family moved to San Antonio, Texas. He began his undergraduate career at the University of Texas in San Antonio in 1920. After two years, he transferred to the University of Chicago, where he was awarded his B.S. in Biology in 1925. Following his matriculation, he began work on his Ph.D. in Anatomy. During his Ph.D. studies, he worked as an Instructor in Anatomy at the university. After receiving his doctorate in 1928, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Anatomy at the Washington University School of Medicine. In addition to his role at Washington University, O'Leary he continued his studies in Chicago, pursuing a medical degree during the summer months. He received his M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1931.
After graduation, O'Leary moved to St. Louis and began to work full time at the university. In 1933, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Anatomy and, in 1941, was jointly appointed to as an Assistant Professor of Neurology in the developing Neurology Division. He held both of these positions until 1946. In 1941, O'Leary joined the United States Medical Corps. He was assigned to the Army School of Military Neuropsychiatry at Mason General Hospital in New York, where he taught neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and electroencephalography. He was honorably discharged in 1946, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon his return, O'Leary was appointed as an Associate Professor and head of the Neurology Division. Under his leadership, the division was granted full department status in 1963. During his time with the department, he extensively studied nerve physiology, pain mechanisms, and the clinical and electroencephalographic aspects of epilepsy. He continued to serve as head of the department until his retirement from teaching and administration in 1971. He continued his work with the university in the role of Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery.
Throughout his career, Dr. O'Leary was involved with a number of professional organizations. He served as president of the American Neurological Society, American Electroencephalographic Society, and the American Epilepsy Society. In 1971, he received the American Neurological Association's Jacoby Award, the highest honor awarded by the association. James L. O'Leary died on May 25, 1975 at the age of 70 years.
Name of creator
Vilray Papin Blair is most known for his pioneering work in plastic surgery. A native of St. Louis, Blair graduated from Christian Brothers College in 1890 and subsequently enrolled in the St. Louis Medical College. There he was greatly influenced by Elisha Hall Gregory, a professor of surgery. He graduated in 1893 and began an internship at Mullanphy Hospital under distinguished surgeon Paul Yoer Tupper.
In 1894 Blair was appointed instructor with the Anatomy Department of St. Louis Medical College (which had joined Washington University in 1891). In 1896 he took a leave from medicine to join the crew of a merchant vessel bound for Europe, a decision that led to him becoming a ship surgeon for a journey to Brazil and then a military surgeon for British troops sailing to West Africa.
Upon his return to St. Louis in 1900, Blair established a private surgical practice and resumed teaching at the School of Medicine. He was named to the visiting staff of St. Louis City Hospital in 1910. In 1917 Blair joined the U.S. Army Corps entering World War I and was named chief of oral and plastic surgery. On his return to St. Louis he was active in the Medical Reserve Corps and served as attending specialist in plastic surgery at the Jefferson Barracks Veterans Hospital.
Blair served as assistant professor of clinical surgery at the School of Medicine in 1922 and was named professor in 1927. He also served as professor of oral surgery at the Washington University School of Dentistry. He became an emeritus professor of both schools in 1941. Throughout his career, Blair published many influential books and articles in the areas of plastic and oral surgery. Another foremost achievement was his leadership in creating the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which helped seal his place as a pioneer in establishing plastic surgery as a unique branch of medicine.
Scope and content
This collection consists of 16 photographs and certificates from the career of James L. O'Leary. The photographs primarily depict scenes from Vilray P. Blair's operating room and group portraits. Certificates include a William G. Lennox Award certificate, a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the American Epilepsy Society, and several certificates of appreciation.
System of arrangement
Some items have been previously removed from this collection, which has led to an incomplete sequence of numbered items.
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 (email@example.com).
Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
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"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."
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