Pope, Charles A. (Charles Alexander)

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Pope, Charles A. (Charles Alexander)

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1818-1870

History

Charles Alexander Pope was born on March 15, 1818 in Huntsville, Alabama. After graduation from the University of Alabama, Pope began the study of medicine. He attended his first course of lectures at the Cincinnati Medical College and then went to Philadelphia and entered the University of Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree in 1839 at the age of 21. Dr. Pope immediately went to Europe to further study surgery. In 1841 Pope returned to the United States and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1843 Pope was chosen professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the St. Louis Medical College, which at the time was affiliated with St. Louis University. In 1847 Pope became professor of Surgery at the school, and two years later was chosen dean. During his tenure, Pope had his father-in-law, the real estate magnate John O'Fallon, construct the first building for the medical school in 1849, which remained as its headquarters until 1892.

In 1854 Pope was elected president of the American Medical Association; the following year he was elected president of the Missouri State Medical Association. Pope was one of the first physicians in the Middle West to limit his practice of medicine exclusively to surgery. Pope traveled to Europe periodically, often writing of his experiences as foreign correspondent to the St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal. Pope gained a national reputation as a surgeon and teacher. He resigned as professor and dean of the St. Louis Medical College in 1864. He briefly resumed his chair at the college, but resigned for good in early 1867. Pope and his family moved to Paris, where Pope died on July 5, 1870.

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