Lives of the fellows

Harold David Friedberg

b.7 June 1927 d.8 February 2005
MB BCh Wits(1949) MRCP(1952) FRCP(1975)

Harold David Friedberg was a researcher and cardiologist who helped develop the St Jude heart valve. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he was the son of Samuel Friedberg, a jeweller, and Violet née Grodzen. He was educated at Jeppe High School in Johannesburg, and then went on to the University of Witwatersrand.

He was an intern at Baragwanath Hospital from 1949 to 1950, and then went to the UK, where he was a registrar at St Stephen's Hospital, London, and at Christie Hospital, Manchester.

He decided to emigrate to the US. In 1966 he was appointed chief of cardiology at the V A Center, Milwaukee. From 1972 he was director of the pacemaker clinic at St Luke's Hospital, Milwaukee. In 1968 he was appointed associate professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, staying there until 1979 when, ironically, he had bypass surgery himself. He then moved on to the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, where he taught electrocardiography to cardiology fellows.

In 1976 he helped develop the original design and construction of the St Jude heart valve, which became the most used mechanical valve in the world. His later research interests included the design and development of a laser enhanced cardiac angioplasty system, with GV Medical of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He was associate editor of Journal of Electrocardiology and president of the Wisconsin Heart Association from 1973 to 1974.

Outside medicine, he was an expert bridge and chess player, and enjoyed music, including writing programme notes for symphony concerts. He married Patricia Ann Barnett in 1954 and they had two sons (Richard and Adam) and two daughters (Mandy and Adrienne).

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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