HAYMAKER, Webb (1902 - 1984)
Dr. Webb Haymaker was born in Washington, DC on June 5, 1902. He attended the Medical College of South Carolina studied at the University of Wurzburg and University of Vienna and upon return to the United States received his M.D. degree in 1928.
His postgraduate education took him to the Pennsylvania Hospital, as a resident in Pathology and also his insatiable appetite for travel and new ideas took him to France, to the American Hospital in Paris and at the Institute du Cancer. A few years after during a short stay in Canada he met Evelyn Anderson, a PhD biochemist, whom he married in 1936 returning to Europe again. Back in USA he became Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology and Lecturer in Neuroanatomy at the University of California School of Medicine.
After US involvement in the World War II, he was commissioned in the Army and assigned to the Army Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. where he rose to the rank of Lt. Col. When released from active duty he served as Chief of Neuropathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP).
One of his major interests in research was on the effects of ionizing radiation on the nervous system including x-rays, protons and cosmic rays. On the 50's he was involved in several balloon-borne experiments performed using animals as test subjects. One of these campaigns was told in depth and detail in an article called "Operation Stratomouse" published in 1956 by Military Medicine.
In 1961 he assumed a research position in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), at Moffett Field, California where he remained until his death.
Webb Haymaker was one of the best known and respected neuropathologists in the world. He was one of the first to be certified by the American Board of Pathology in Neuropathology and he was influential in making neuropathology a recognized subspecialty of pathology in the United States. He was also prolific writer, traveler and lecturer. Of his many publications perhaps the best known is: "The Founders of Neurology" (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1953) which is still popular today.
He continued working until shortly before his death, which occured of complications of preleukemia on August 5, 1984.