Langston, Hiram T. (Hiram Thomas), 1912-1992
- Existence: 1912 - 1992
Thoracic surgeon and Northwestern University Medical School professor Hiram Thomas Langston was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 12, 1912, of American parents (Louise Foe Duiguid and Alva B. Langston) employed in the Southern Baptist Convention educational missions. Throughout his career, Lanston filled many roles: operating a private practice, serving as faculty, consulting, and chief surgeon. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University late in his career, from 1978 until his retirement in 1981.
Educated in Rio de Janeiro until his sophomore year (1928) at Collegio Batista, Langston then attended Georgetown College (Kentucky, 1929) and the University of Louisville where he earned both his bachelor's and M.D. degrees (1930-1934). He was a member of Theta Kappa Psi social fraternity and Alpha Omega Alpha medical fraternity during this time. After interning at Garfield Memorial Hospital, Washington, D.C. (1934-1935) and spending a residency in pathology there (1935-1937), Langston moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he did residencies, held a position as instructor in thoracic surgery, and earned a master of science in surgery degree (1937-1941).
In 1941, Langston married Helen M. Orth. The couple subsequently had three children.
After a year spent in private practice and as associate in surgery at Northwestern University, Langston was called into the Army during World War II and spent four years (1942-1946) in service. During the war he served as chief thoracic surgeon for the 12th General Hospital in North Africa and Italy. Langston was promoted to major and was awarded the Army Commendation Ribbon, the Bronze Star, and a Brazilian Air Force recognition, the Ordem do Merito Aeronautico. He later described his military service in an article, “The 12th General Hospital.”
In 1948 Langston entered private practice in thoracic surgery in Detroit, Michigan, and accepted a position as associate professor of surgery at Wayne State University. In 1952, he returned to Chicago as chief surgeon at the Chicago State Tuberculosis Sanitarium. In addition, Langston held appointments as associate professor of surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where he stayed until 1978; consultant in thoracic surgery at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital; and as staff physician at Augustana, Gottlieb, Grant, and Saint Joseph hospitals. He became clinical professor of surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1962; was professor of surgery at the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine (1963-1977); chief of thoracic surgery there (1973-1975); chairman of the department of surgery at St. Joseph Hospital (1977-1982); and professor of surgery at the Northwestern University Medical School (1978-1981). Northwestern awarded Langston emeritus status in 1981.
He was a member, participating committee member, and officer in many professional societies. He was a founding member of the Board of Thoracic Surgery; at various times secretary, vice president, and president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery; vice president of the Chicago Surgical Society (1971-1972); representative for the Thoracic Surgery Division of the American Medical Association; chairman of the membership committee of the Chicago Surgical Society (1979); member of the long range planning committee of Saint Joseph Hospital (1978-1980); and staff vice president at Grant Hospital. Langston later became a member of the Grant Hospital board of directors.
Langston retired from practice in 1982. Hiram T. Langston died on May 20, 1992 in Chicago at the age of 80.