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Oldberg, Eric, 1901-1986



  • Existence: 1901-1986

Eric Oldberg, prominent neurosurgeon and Chicago civic leader, was born November 7, 1901, in Evanston, Illinois, the son of Arne and Mary Georgiana (Sloan) Oldberg. He earned a B.S. degree in 1923, an M.S. in 1926, an M.D. in 1927, and a Ph.D. in 1928 with all degrees from Northwestern University. During his career in medicine he wrote many significant, scholarly articles on various aspects of neurosurgery. He also served as the president of the Chicago Board of Health from 1960 – 1979. Oldberg died in 1986.

He served as an instructor in physiology at Northwestern in 1927-1928, was a surgery house officer (1928), assistant resident surgeon (1929), and resident neurological surgeon (1930) to Dr. Harvey Cushing at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Oldberg was a Guggenheim traveling fellow in 1930 and a George Gorham Peters traveling fellow to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin and to Oxford University in 1930-1931. He accepted an appointment as assistant professor of surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1931, was named associate professor and acting department head in 1934, and from 1936 through 1971 served as professor and head of the department of neurology and neurological surgery. Oldberg also held appointments with the Neuropsychiatric Institute of the University of Illinois, with Presbyterian-St. Luke's, University of Illinois, Augustana, Mt. Sinai, Illinois Central, and Swedish Covenant hospitals, all of Chicago, and with several Chicago suburban hospitals.

From 1960 to 1979 Oldberg was president of the Chicago Board of Health. Between 1953 and 1963 he served as vice president of the Chicago Mayor's Commission to the Board of Education. He was an officer, trustee or director of several educational and cultural institutions, chief among these the Chicago Orchestral Association (president, 1952-1963) and the Ravinia Festival Association. Oldberg was also a member of numerous medical and professional societies.

Oldberg married Hilda Edwards on June 3, 1929 (dec.); the couple had one son, George Sloan (dec.). He married a second time, to Mary Swissler, on January 2. 1971.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Eric Oldberg (1901-1986) Papers

Identifier: 55/30
Abstract The papers of Eric Oldberg (neurosurgeon and Chicago civic leader) relate to his activities with and on behalf of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestral Association. The papers consist of general correspondence (1940-1972) and subject files.
Dates: 1940-1986