On May 10, 1989, one of the "best and brightest" men in this noble profession died. W. Dean Warren, MD, the Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chairman of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga, succumbed to an illness that he had fought for 4 years with uncommon bravery, strength of character, and infinite grace. Those of us who knew and loved him will miss him greatly; but it is our profession, which is now bereft of one of its strongest leaders, that will suffer without his guidance and moral strength. He was blessed with great intelligence and sparkling wit, but of greater importance was his dedication to truth and candor. This dedication was like a beacon for all of us in surgery. He could never, and did not, abide pomposity, deceit, and cant.
You well might ask about the forces that shaped this consummate academic surgeon. Certainly,