Lives of the fellows

Noah Morris

b.4 October 1893 d.1 June 1947
BSc Glasg(1913) MB ChB Glasg(1915) DPH Liverp(1917) MD Glasg(1921) DSc Glasg(1934) FRFPS(1921) MRCP(1938) FRCP(1943)

Few medical men have overcome such odds as Noah Morris and attained such love and respect. He was born in Stobcross Street, Glasgow. His parents, his father from Riga and his mother from Vilna, were recent immigrants, their family name borrowed from the name of the captain of the ship that had brought them from the Baltic, for his father’s name had been Henry Sachs and his mother’s Sarah Gershuni.

Through the mother’s sacrifice all five children were educated, his only sister Leah graduating in medicine as he did. From Kent Road School and the High School he entered Glasgow University where he began a brilliant academic career. After service in France and Italy during World War I he joined the staff of the University department of physiology, where he showed great ability in researches on acidosis and alkalosis which were to lead to his recognition as an international authority on calcium and phosphorus metabolism.

For a few years he was a general practitioner, but returned to academic work and by 1920 was professor of physiology at Anderson College; such was his success as a teacher that his course was recognised as qualifying for a University degree. In 1936 he was appointed regius professor to Glasgow University, retaining the post until his death in 1947 along with that of physician to Stobhill General Hospital. There he showed himself an able administrator and a brilliant teacher.

With affection and appreciation he was known as a rough diamond, shy, modest, and kindly, but so honest and so imbued with religious principles from his strict upbringing that he could be brusque to the point of rudeness if he thought justice might not be done.

In 1921 he married Hattie, daughter of Philip Michaelis, a heavy metal merchant who was a leader in the early stages of the Zionist movement. They had one son and one daughter, a Glasgow graduate in medicine.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1947, 1, 866; College Courant, 1951-2, 4, 84-9; Glasg. med. J., 1947, 28, 194-6 (p); Lancet, 1947, 1, 851 (p); Nursing Mirror, 14 June 1947; Surgo, 1947, 14, 24-5.]

(Volume V, page 297)

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