Lives of the fellows

Oscar Brenner

b.15 August 1901 d.19 June 1965
MB ChB Birm(1923) MD Birm(1925) MRCS LRCP(1923) MRCP(1925) FRCP(1937)

Dr Brenner, the son of Samuel and Marie (née Ross) Brenner, was born in what was later Czechoslovakia and came to England when he was seven years old. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and the University of Birmingham. In 1931 he was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship with which he studied the pathology of the pulmonary circulation at Baltimore and, with Dr Paul White, at Boston; five classic papers published in the Archives of Internal Medicine are still quoted by all workers in this field.

In 1929 he had been appointed pathologist and in the following year assistant physician to the Queen’s Hospital, Birmingham. He continued to work in the United Birmingham Hospitals until his death, maintaining his researches in cardiology with special interest in electrolyte disturbances and other aspects of cardiac failure. In 1962 he was chairman of the British Cardiac Society.

Dr Brenner was a very gentle and unassuming person. He was a most careful and conscientious worker, and his patients, his junior staff and his colleagues were devoted to him. He was an excellent teacher but at heart an academician. His religious and political views were unorthodox, yet he always had the respect and affection of everyone who knew him. During the last eighteen months of his life he was badly disabled by vertebrobasilar insufficiency, but he continued to discharge all his hospital responsibilities with the utmost courage and cheerfulness until a few days before his death from myocardial infarction.

His chief leisure interests were fishing and the growing of dahlias. In 1940 he married a fellow medical student, Dr Dorothy Japp; they had one daughter, who became a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Liverpool, and adopted another.

Richard R Trail

[Brit. Heart J., 1966, 28, 134-5; Brit.med.J., 1965, 2, 115-16; Lancet, 1965, 1, 1402; 2, 45.]

(Volume V, page 48)

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