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Leo Eloesser, MD: Eulogy for a Free Spirit

Arch Surg. 1983;118(8):996-997. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390080096033.
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To write an objective biography of one of your dear friends would not be easy. Harris Shumacker makes it clear in his title that he is not attempting that. Indeed, he is writing a eulogy for the independent life of a remarkably eclectic, intelligent man, Dr Leo Eloesser, who was a pioneer thoracic surgeon, world traveler and adventurer, chamber music devotee, and dedicated champion of the poor people of all countries.

This book tells the story of the son of a successful German immigrant businessman who was prominent in the intellectual and musical life of San Francisco in the mid-19th century. Leo Eloesser received strong financial support from his father, enabling him to seek his education in medicine abroad, interspersed with frequent travels to Mexico, Russia, Hungary, and Italy. His capacity to learn and speak languages was almost incredible. Everywhere he went he learned everything he could about each person


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