Earl P. Benditt, M.D.
Professor and Chair, 1957-1981

Dr. Earl Benditt died on May 27, 1996. In 1986 Dr. Benditt became an Emeritus Professor after 29 years of dedicated service to the Department, having served as Chairman from 1957 to 1981. He continued to work in his laboratory and was a Distinguished Physician at the Veteranís Administration Medical Center from 1988 to 1993. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Benditt came to the University of Washington in 1957, after completing post-doctoral training, and joining the faculty at the University of Chicago.

As chairman of a young department, Dr. Benditt quickly moved to build a faculty primarily dedicated to research and teaching. In a few years the clinical activities of the Department were consolidated at the University Medical Center and a UW-based residency program was launched. The department flourished, incorporating and utilizing modern biological techniques to investigate the pathogenesis of human disease. A Ph.D. program in Experimental Pathology was established, which became a model for many programs in the United States and abroad.

In 1975 Dr. Benditt was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He received the Rous Whipple Award (1980) and the Gold Headed Cane Award (1984) from the American Association of Pathologists. In 1989 he received the Distinguished Pathologist Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology. He was the President of the American Society for Experimental Pathology from 1975-1976, serving on numerous study section for the National Institute of Health as well as many committees and councils.

Dr. Bendittís creative and critical approach to science charted the course for the development of academic pathology over the past four decades.