Lives of the fellows

Joseph Russell Elkinton

b.12 October 1910 d.6 April 2002

Joseph Russell Elkinton was the eldest child of Joseph Passmore Elkinton, a businessman and minister, and his wife Mary Russell née Bucknell. The family were Quakers and lived in a Quaker community in Moylan, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Haverford College and studied medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Appointed professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, he helped to found a much respected research centre in blood chemistry and kidney disease.

A prolific author, he published many scientific papers and co-wrote a widely used textbook with T S Danowski The body fluids; basic physiology and practical therapeutics (Baltimore, Williams and Wilkins, 1955). From 1960 to 1971, he was the editor of the influential journal Annals of Internal Medicine and he also wrote on ethical and social issues in medicine, with essays on science and religion. A number of his essays were collected and published as Bird on a rocking chair (Lincoln, Mass., Cottage Press, 1993).

In 1940 he married Teresa Sturge.

He died in Massachusetts. A number of his papers and manuscripts were deposited with the family archives at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania.

RCP editor

[ – accessed 7 April 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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