O'Leary, James L., 1904-1975

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O'Leary, James L., 1904-1975

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  • O'Leary, J.
  • O'Leary, James Lee.
  • O'Leary, James
  • O'Leary, Jim

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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.


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Blair, Vilray Papin, 1871-1955 (1871-1955)

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son-in-law of Blair, Vilray Papin

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Entered into A to M. December 16, 2019 1:10 PM


  • English


  • Latin


  1. Science and epilepsy, ©1976: ǂb title page (James L. O'Leary);
  2. OCLC, January 28, 2014 ǂb (access points: O'Leary, James L.; O'Leary, James L. (James Lee), 1904-1975; O'Leary, James L., 1903-; O'Leary, James L., 1904-1975; O'Leary, James Lee; O'Leary, James Lee, 1904-; usages: James L. O'Leary; J. O'Leary; James Lee O'Leary)
  3. General Correspondence, 1959-1978. James L. O'Leary Papers, FC021-S01, Bernard Becker Medical Archives, Washington University in St. Louis;

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