May 2, 2011

James Bryan Herrick, 1861-1954

CAMA Historical Figures/Facilities Project

James Herrick, 1925.
Cardiologist James B. Herrick was born in 1861 in Oak Park, Ill. He received his A.B. from the University of Michigan and taught school in Peoria and Oak Park before beginning his medical education at Rush Medical College. He received his M.D. in 1888. Upon graduation, he served an internship at the Cook County Hospital, followed by private practice in Chicago and teaching at the Rush Medical College. Herrick believed that the teaching of medicine should not be confined to didactic lessons in the classroom and often taught by example in a clinical setting. He traveled to Europe on several occasions to further his own education.

[Image Credit: Rush University Medical Center Archives, Photograph Collection, P2332b.]

Herrick made many contributions to the medical community, especially in the area of cardiology. His major achievements include publishing the first description of sickle cell anemia, identifying that coronary thrombosis is not always fatal, and clinically using the electrocardiogram with coronary heart disease. He served as president of the Chicago Pathological Society, the Chicago Society of Internal Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, the American Heart Association, the Institute of Medicine in Chicago, and the Society of Medical History of Chicago. Honorary degrees received by Herrick include a master of arts in 1907 and doctor of law in 1932 from the University of Michigan. He received the George M. Kober Medal in 1930 from the Association of American Physicians and, in 1939, the Distinguished Service Medal from the American Medical Association.

Herrick had a life-long love of literature. He read eleven papers at meetings of the Chicago Literary Club, including “The Story of a Good Boy” and “Why I Read Chaucer at Sixty.” He was married to Zellah P. Davies of Oak Park, Illinois. Herrick died in 1954.

Biography provided by the Rush University Medical Center Archives.
Rush University Medical Center Archives

Collection Name:  James Bryan Herrick Papers, 1882-1972
Repository:  Rush University Medical Center Archives
Creator:  Herrick, James Bryan, (1861-1954)
Call Number: 4759
Extent:  About 170 items; 1.5 linear feet.

Collection OverviewCardiologist James Bryan Herrick’s papers include biographical information, correspondence, writings, clippings, and miscellaneous material.  Correspondence includes letters to and from Herrick including letters concerning gifts to the Rush Medical College Library.  Writings include medical articles written by Herrick, mostly in the area of cardiology.  Other writings include biographical and historical articles about physicians and other topics and various addresses.  Clippings feature Herrick and his contributions to cardiology.  Miscellaneous items include a bibliography, class tickets, invitations and programs from various events, and hand written notes on mainly clinical topics.

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