Lives of the fellows

Paul Ramsey Hawley

b.31 January 1891 d.24 November 1965
CB(1947) AB Indiana(1912) MD Cincinnati(1914) DPH Johns Hopkins(1923) †Hon DSc Wayne(1947) Hon LLD Indiana( ) FRCSE(1945) *FRCP(1945) FACP(1946) FACS(1952) FRCS(1959)

Paul Hawley, the son of William Harry Hawley, a physician, and his wife, Sabina Cora (née Ramsey), was born in Indiana and educated in its university and in that of Cincinnati, and spent two years in his father’s practice before joining the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1916. He had seen service in France during World War I, in the Philippines and in the Canal Zone, Nicaragua, and had graduated with honours from the General Staff School and the Army War College by 1939, so that he was eminently suited for the post of observer in England in 1941. Such was his personality and ability that his promotion from chief surgeon of the U.S. Forces in the United Kingdom to chief surgeon of the whole theatre of operations in Europe in 1944 was welcomed as much by his British as by his American colleagues.

Tall, solidly built, with a shrewd but kindly eye, he could temper the strict discipline of a soldier with an innate bonhomie and humanity, and dispense praise and criticism with equal impartiality. He had that rare combination of astute clinical sense and superb administrative ability that gained the respect and affection of every officer in his command.

Among the many decorations showered on him were the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit from his own Government, the C.B. and Order of Knighthood of St. John of Jerusalem from this country, and of the Legion of Honour, and the Croix de Guerre from France, Commander of the Order of the Crown from Belgium, and of the Order of St. Olaf from Norway. All of them he accepted with cheerful appreciation and his characteristic modesty.

On his retirement from the Army he became chief medical director of the Veterans Administration in 1946, chief executive of the Blue Shield Insurance Schemes in 1948, and director of the American College of Surgeons in 1961. This last body derived a great part of its prestige and status from his adminstrative talents and his high sense of ethical values.

In 1951 he married Lydia W. Wright; they had one son and one daughter.

Richard R Trail

* He was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."

[Bull. Amer. Coll. Phys., 1966, 7, 117-18; Bull. Amer. Coll. Surg., 1966, 51, 146; Current Biography, 1966, 27, 47; J. Amer. med. Ass., 1966, 195, 39 (p); New York Times, 25 Nov. 1965 (p).]

(Volume V, page 177)

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