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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CRILE, GEORGE WASHINGTON, SR. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CRILE, GEORGE WASHINGTON, SR. (11 Nov. 1864-7 Jan. 1943), surgeon, researcher, and a founder of the CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION, was born in Chili, Ohio, to Michael and Margaret Deeds Crile. He received his A.B. from Ohio Northern University (1885), his medical degree from Wooster Medical College (1887), and additional training in Europe. Along with FRANK E. BUNTS†, he worked for Dr. Frank Weed and served several Cleveland hospitals including Lakeside Hospital where he served as Chief of Surgery. He is reputed to have performed the first successful human blood transfusion at ST. ALEXIS HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER in 1906. During the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, Crile worked in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and studied military surgery, field sanitation, and tropical diseases. During WORLD WAR I, he served in Army hospitals in France and researched war neurasthenia, shell concussion, effects of poison gas, wound infection, and shock. He received the French Legion of Honor (1922). Along with Drs. WM. E. LOWER†, Frank E. Bunts, and JOHN PHILLIPS†, Crile founded the Cleveland Clinic, a medical group practice modeled after Mayo Clinic. Crile was president (1921-40) and trustee (1921-36) of the foundation. Crile perfected operations for goiter and thyroid disease and also studied intelligence and personality, theorizing that the human organism is an electrochemical mechanism. Crile was a founding member and second president (1916-17) of the American College of Surgeons, and taught at the University of Wooster (1890-1900) and Western Reserve School of Medicine (1900-43). He married Grace McBride of Cleveland and had 4 children: George, Jr., Robert, Margaret, and Elizabeth. Crile was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Crile, George. An Autobiography (1947).

Geo. W. Crile, Sr. Papers, WRHS.

Last Modified: 15 Jul 1997 10:24:24 AM

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