E.V. Cowdry Photographs

Studio Portrait of E.V. Cowdry. William H. Danforth and E.V. Cowdry with a hamster. E.V. Cowdry meeting Pope Pius XII. Group portrait of Nathaniel H. and E.V. Cowdry with Peking Union Medical College colleagues. View of the Great Wall of China. Organization Committee for the International Cancer Research Commission, St. Louis, Missouri. Group portrait of members of the Fourth International Cancer Research Congress, Jefferson Hotel, ... Group portrait at William H. Danforth's dinner given for foreign members of The Department of Ana... View of Grover Cleveland's death certificate. Portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. E.V. Cowdry. E.V. Cowdry smoking a cigar. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Studio portrait of E.V. Cowdry. Albert I. Lansing and E.V. Lowdry at work the laboratory.
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Reference code


Level of description



E.V. Cowdry Photographs


  • 1922-1949 (Creation)


0.1 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Name of creator


Biographical history

The interests and achievements of Edmund Vincent Cowdry (1888-1975) combined several careers in one. He was born in Alberta province, Canada, and grew up in Ontario. He studied at the University of Toronto, receiving his BA in 1909. Continuing with graduate training in anatomy, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1913. He was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University from 1913 to 1917. From 1917 to 1921, he was among the first professors at Peking Union Medical College, established by the Rockefeller Foundation in Beijing, China. From 1921 until 1928, Cowdry was an associate member of the Rockefeller Institute, the medical research center in Manhattan that is now known as Rockefeller University. Beginning with that period, he made several research trips to African countries. In South Africa, he was instrumental in isolating the organism (thereafter called Cowdria ruminantium) which causes heartwater in animals. In Tunisia, he investigated the etiology of malaria. In Kenya, his chief interest was yellow fever.

E.V. Cowdry joined Washington University School of Medicine in 1928 as head of the Cytology program and co-chair of the Department of Anatomy, and for that purpose moved to St. Louis. The city became his and his family's home for the remainder of his life, although he continued his earlier pattern of extended leaves and foreign travel. He became a United States citizen in 1930. Later he became director of research at Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital (1939), then an independent hospital, but which he guided toward eventual integration with Washington University School of Medicine. In 1941 he became the formal head of the Department of Anatomy (1941). Cowdry's chief laboratory research interests in those years came to focus on cancer. He was noted not only for work in the laboratory, but also for his advocacy of increased public support for programs to fight malignant diseases. He was also widely known for coordinating interdisciplinary work in gerontology and is considered today to be one of the founders of contemporary scientific approaches in that branch of applied medicine and social work. E.V. Cowdry stepped down as head of anatomy in 1950, accepting in its place the position of director of the Wernse Cancer Research Laboratory at the school. He was named professor emeritus and director emeritus of the Wernse laboratory in 1960. Cowdry remained active in research in the university and at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis until his death in 1975.

Scope and content

This collection consists of 28 photographs from the life of E.V. Cowdry. The photographs are primarily portraits of Cowdry. The collection also includes photos depicting E.V. Cowdry's father, Nathaniel Harrington Cowdry, and group portraits of International Cancer Research Commission members.

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.

Technical access

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 (arb@wusm.wustl.edu).

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

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