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Young, Richard H., 1905-1970



  • Existence: 1905 - 1970

The son of a Chicago physician, Richard Hale Young was born in Chicago on January 26, 1905. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Medicine and a Bachelor of Medicine from Northwestern University in 1929 and was awarded his M.D a year later, after an internship at St. Luke's Hospital. He continued his studies as a Fellow in Medicine at Northwestern, focusing on hematology. These studies included stays at the University of Oregon in 1933 and the University College Medical School in London in 1934. Young began an 21 year tenure as Dean of the Medical School in 1949.

Completing his formal education, Dr. Young set up a private practice in Evanston, Illinois in 1934. He married Ellen Louise Stearns the same year. They had two sons, both of whom went on to graduate from Northwestern University Medical School.

Dr. Young maintained a connection to Northwestern University Medical School, where he was appointed Instructor in 1933, advanced to Associate in 1937, and to Assistant Professor in 1939. Dr. Young demonstrated his administrative ability early, acting as Executive Secretary to the Department of Medicine and Experimental Medicine from 1938-1942. During World War II (1942-45) Dr. Young served at the Twelfth General Hospital, continuing to develop his administrative skills. He rose from first chief of general medicine to acting chief of the medical service, expanding the capacity of the hospital to 2,000 beds.

After the war Dr. Young returned to Northwestern for one year as the Director of Student Health, and then left to become Dean of the University of Utah Medical School from 1946-1949. After Northwestern University Medical School Dean Roscoe Miller became President of Northwestern in 1949, Dr. Young returned to Northwestern as Dean of the Medical School and Professor of Medicine and remained dean for 21 years. Dean Young's tenure included the planning and celebration of the Medical School's centennial.

As Dean, Dr. Young worked to expand Northwestern University Medical School, both through changes in its curriculum and with physical growth. In 1956 he oversaw the school's first major curricular change in 40 years. The new curriculum left more unassigned hours for scholarly pursuits and expanded students' clinical time. This curricular change led to a period of continued curricular experimentation throughout the 1960s. Dean Young presided over the construction of the Morton Research Building (1955) and the Searle building (1965). These new buildings expanded the medical school's research facilities and provided new space for the medical school library. To facilitate expanded research, Dr. Young encouraged his faculty to pursue external grants to fund their research activities.

Dr. Young also fulfilled his goals of expanding the medical school's facilities and research capabilities through his efforts to expand and establish area hospitals affiliated with the Medical School. Dean Young was particularly instrumental in the creation of the Veteran's Administration Lakeside Hospital.

In 1966 Dean Young relinquished some of his administrative duties to become the first Director of the Northwestern University Medical Center. Dean Young resigned at the end of the 1969-1970 school year due to heath difficulties resulting from adult diabetes. He died suddenly four months later at the age of 65.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Records of the Medical School Dean, Richard H. Young 1949-1970

Identifier: 18/7/3
Abstract The Records of the Medical School Dean, Richard H. Young, fill 18 record cartons (18 cubic feet), spanning the years of his tenure as dean, 1949 to 1970. These records primarily consist of correspondence and documents relating to the administration of the medical school and affiliated hospitals. The records are divided into 12 subseries: Associations, Buildings and Grounds, Clinic, Dean's Office, Departments, Faculty, Fraternities, Hospitals, Library (Medical School), Medical School,...
Dates: 1949-1970

Prospectus for a Research and Clinical Neurological Hospital Embodying New Principles Manuscript

Identifier: ghsl-11
Abstract Manuscript written by Wendell J.S. Krieg of the Northwestern University Medical School outlining trends in neuroscience research and plans for a neurological research and treatment facility to be included as part of a proposed Morton Hospital.
Dates: 1949-07