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Dr. Walter I. Delph

Urologist Dr. Walter Ivey Delph, Jr. was born on March 25, 1944 in Harlem, New York to Dr. Walter Ivey Delph, Sr., a real estate entrepreneur and family doctor, and Minnette Tillman Delph. Delph’s father was financier and builder of the Ivey Delph Apartments at 19 Hamilton Terrace in Harlem, New York, the first Black apartment project to be backed by a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage. Designed by Vertner Tandy, the first licensed African American architect in New York, Ivey Delph tenants included Marilyn Keets, Buck Clayton and Ted Sturgis.

Raised on Harlem’s Sugar Hill in the 1950s, Delph got his first haircut from Dr. Robert Craft, surrounded by members of the “Black Royalty” who frequented his home. Visitors included Duke Ellington, a young Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson. As a teen, Delph worked at a dry cleaner, at the Ivey Delph in the summer time, and accompanied his father on house calls. Delph’s father’s patients included Ralph Bunche and Delph’s godfather, Adam Clayton Powell. Adam Wells mentored Delph after he lost his father at age sixteen.

After a lackluster academic start, Delph found his passion in high school science. Accepted at Adelphi University, Delph earned his B.A. degree and advanced to a memorable career at Howard Medical School where he was trained and mentored by colleagues of his father. During high school, Delph trained in surgery at Montefiore Hospital. Delph returned to Montefiore Hospital after medical school for a residency in general surgery, but soon switched to a relatively nascent field, urology. Delph’s career has spanned vast improvements in urological treatment and endured major shifts in medicine, including the advent of the HMO.

Delph, the former Director of Urology at North General Hospital, the American Cancer Society since 1982 and served as the president of the Students American Medical Association (SAMA) when he was at Howard University and supports the Schomburg Center for Black Research. Delph served on the board of the YMCA from 1978 to 1982 and the New York Urban League from 1982 to 1987.

Delph is currently married to Aminta Griffith. He has three children: Andrea, Walter, III and Channing Delph.

Delph was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.170

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2007

Last Name

Delph

Maker Category
Middle Name

I.

Occupation
Schools

Dalton School

Riverdale Country School

Adelphi University

Howard University College of Medicine

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Walter

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DEL06

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Adults, Seniors

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Availability Specifics: Give 10 days to 2 weeks notice
Preferred Audience: Adults, Seniors

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/25/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Urologist Dr. Walter I. Delph (1944 - ) was the director of urology at North General Hospital in New York City.

Employment

Montefiore Medical Center

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

St. Luke's Hospital

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1988,28:3066,46:3836,59:5810,66:30630,428:30910,433:31190,438:31750,444:32100,450:33290,483:33710,490:33990,495:39256,579:39718,587:41500,625:41962,633:46127,694:46957,705:49447,732:49862,738:58396,843:58852,850:59232,856:63220,916:70940,1008:79582,1107:80100,1116:81330,1125:93984,1242:94348,1247:106780,1467:113650,1571:114550,1584:115000,1590:127184,1724:133994,1917:135146,1931:135650,1939:137090,1958:137378,1963:138098,1977:138386,1982:138818,1989:139682,2005:140186,2030:163170,2199:173978,2302:174362,2309:177398,2342:178686,2359:181722,2403:182090,2408:188796,2473:191584,2512:192116,2521:192648,2530:193180,2538:196144,2598:209016,2707:210225,2720:217950,2784:218280,2790:219072,2799:219534,2807:221820,2838$0,0:140,4:3920,122:4480,131:9298,165:12876,210:25777,436:26596,446:34968,595:37970,669:38523,678:49865,786:58130,918:58890,923:65056,986:66670,1000:67120,1009:71225,1062:72976,1084:92508,1267:92898,1273:93366,1280:102422,1361:109660,1485:114322,1501:119780,1537:120524,1546:121268,1555:122477,1574:122942,1580:123593,1588:124430,1599:127159,1624:134396,1719:136526,1764:136810,1769:158708,2041:160746,2065:161172,2073:161598,2081:162805,2101:164864,2133:167945,2156:168330,2163:168792,2170:171564,2209:198099,2464:198495,2469:199287,2478:199683,2483:201663,2510:202752,2530:214910,2721:215234,2726:216810,2732
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Walter I. Delph's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Walter I. Delph lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his father's first real estate venture

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers his father's patients and business partners

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls the famous residents of the Harlem neighborhood in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes the churches in New York City's Harlem neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers The Dalton School in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers his father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his father's medical practice

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his relationship with his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his experiences at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his studies at Adelphi University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his awareness of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers Howard University College of Medicine, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers Howard University College of Medicine, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his activities during medical school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his first marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his internship at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his aspiration to become a surgeon

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers joining the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his travels with the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his early career in urology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls performing kidney transplants

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his residency at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls founding his urology practice

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his office manager

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Walter I. Delph talks about the National Medical Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls joining the National Medical Association

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his presidency of the Manhattan Central Medical Society

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his decision to move to Scarsdale, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Walter I. Delph talks about the changes to the Harlem community in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes the changes in the health insurance industry

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Walter I. Delph recalls his cancer diagnoses

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Walter I. Delph talks about his experiences with meditation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Walter I. Delph talks about civil disobedience

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Walter I. Delph talks about affirmative action

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers becoming a police surgeon

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Walter I. Delph remembers Dr. Harold Freeman

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his membership in Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Walter I. Delph reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Walter I. Delph narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his father
Dr. Walter I. Delph describes his early career in urology
Transcript
And your father, what's his name and when and where was he born?$$Also Dr. Walter Delph, Sr. [Dr. Walter I. Delph, Sr.], born in Augusta, Georgia in 1895.$$And did he share with you any stories about his upbringing in Georgia? I understand that you said that the pickings were slim but do you have any sense (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Dad had some interesting stories, you know, but, you know, as far as roots, he didn't talk much about other family. Evidently, a very small family down there, on my mother's [Minnette Tillman Delph] side also, but dad had a great story talking about, 'cause he was an old-fashioned general practitioner here in Harlem [New York, New York] and he'd do everything from deliver babies to, do minor surgery, and I remember him telling me about his circumcision. You'll have to excuse urologists talking freely about these kind of things, but dad took a lot of pride in saying that he assisted in his own circumcision when he was probably about seventeen or eighteen. That would have been something under local anesthesia (laughter).$$And how did your father come to become a doctor? Where did he do his training?$$Dad was educated down there in Augusta and there was, evidently, a very famous school down there, Lucy Laney [Lucy Craft Laney High School, Augusta, Georgia] and where Morehouse College [Atlanta, Georgia] started, in Augusta, Georgia, and then moved to Atlanta. So, Augusta was very important for young blacks coming up and Lucy Laney [Lucy Craft Laney] was evidently a tough, you know, headmistress but she got a whole lot of folks educated, and dad was very smart. It was classical education. He had Greek and Latin as a kid. Left Lucy Laney and went to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania [Lincoln University, Lincoln University, Pennsylvania], and then Howard [Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.] for med school.$$Okay, and you said here he was a general practitioner and I know that he was a real estate investor in New York [New York]. Was he involved in similar real estate endeavors before he came to New York?$$When he left Augusta, I get stories about my father all the time from people but no, there was no property down south on either side that I know of but dad did very well in Harlem in those days before health insurance and stuff, and all the politics and, of medicine, and send money back to Lucy Laney High School and supported the football team and everything. He was a special guy.$$So, once he moved to New York and became a general practitioner, how long did he engage in that? What was his career like be--$$His whole life.$$--before?$$His whole life. He worked in medicine until he died, 1960, of stress along with, you know, he died at age sixty-five, a young man, but his whole life was general practice of medicine in Harlem.$So, there was urology, I write back to Montefiore [Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York] 'cause they were holding a surgical spot for me, and I said, "I'm now interested in urology and when I come back I want to talk to Selwyn Fried, the chief, and I'm going to ask him for a slot in urology." So, that's how I go into urology (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And did, in addition to your interest, did you think that urology was something that was needed in the Manhattan, Harlem [New York, New York] community?$$Oh, yeah. We didn't have a urologist. We didn't have any urologists. My father [Dr. Walter I. Delph, Sr.], in his final days, ended up having all kinds of surgery. Had this big neck tumor and had to have that removed, so had head and neck surgery, and we didn't have any head and neck surgeons, nobody who was trained in that. So, it was a neurosurgeon who was an outstanding surgeon that did that operation on my dad at Sydenham Hospital [New York, New York], which it just closed a while ago. So, he also couldn't urinate during this hospitalization. So, another general surgeon takes out his prostate 'cause there were no urologists there. So, another reason why, well, there's a need. And so, I go into urology with Selwyn Fried, and these Jewish fathers up there, a couple of black younger urologists in those days, trained by this man who was again, open. He was a mean old sucker, but he was open and he said, "Okay, yeah, come on in, I'm going to train you," and even though New York [New York] had fourteen urologic programs in it and seven medical schools in this immediate area, not many were opening their doors to blacks for residency. Selwyn Fried allowed me in, and again, worked my tail off and that, those were some hard years, physically and now you are studying the kidney at a microscopic level. You're not learning normal kidney, like in med school, you're not learning abnormal kidney, like pathology in med school, you are actually taking care of human beings that their kidneys aren't working. So I ended up doing a year of transplant surgery, fellowship at Montefiore again, transplanting a kidney from a normal person into a person who had no kidney function anymore, on dialysis, beginning days of dialysis too. So, 1970, Veith, Frank Veith, was the head of vascular surgery at Montefiore and he said, "Okay, you can do that fellowship before you go into urology." So I come back and I have a total of five years of more residency when I come back from the [U.S.] Air Force, five of the hardest years of my life, okay. Med school [Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.] was fun, I learned a lot but, I mean, I'm working very hard for those five years.

Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr.

Dr. Robert John Bacon, Sr. was born on March 9, 1923 on the Taylor Plantation in Como, Mississippi to Minnie and Frank Bacon. The family moved to Sardis, Mississippi where they lived in a log cabin when Bacon was age three or four. Later, the family migrated to Lake Forest, Illinois. In 1933, his parents took a “couples” job and had living quarters with the family they worked with. Bacon was left in the care of family friends, Sherman and Alice Black, who raised him from age ten until he graduated from high school. Bacon was introduced to art, literature, dance and music while in grade school. He attended Lake Forest High School with only four other African American students and graduated in 1941.

Bacon entered Fisk University in the fall of 1941. In 1944, during World War II, he accepted an early admission offer to attend Meharry Medical College through the U.S. Army Student Training Program where he received his medical degree in 1947. Bacon also served in the Korean War as a First Lieutenant Medic. He did his internship at Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and his residency at Hover G. Phillips Hospital where he specialized in urology. In 1953, Bacon relocated to Houston, Texas, where he began his own private practice. It was not until other African American physicians came to Houston, however, that his practice began to thrive. Along with a number of other physicians with different specialties, he built the Lockwood Professional Group.

Bacon served on the Board of Directors for the State Department of Corrections for six years and served as a reviewer for the State Board of Medical Examiners also for six years. In 1975, Bacon began his nineteen year tenure with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where he served as a full-time faculty member. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Urology and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. Upon retirement, he worked in an STD clinic in Houston and was on the front lines of the HIV epidemic in the black population. Bacon was married to the late Bernice Bacon for fifty-eight years. They had two adult sons: Dr. Robert John Bacon, Jr., a practicing psychiatrist in Houston, Texas, and Kenneth Bacon, an Executive Vice President for Fannie Mae in Washington, D.C.

Bacon passed away on March 14, 2009 at age 86.

Accession Number

A2007.057

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/9/2007

Last Name

Bacon

Maker Category
Middle Name

John

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Lake Forest High School

Fisk University

Meharry Medical College

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Como

HM ID

BAC02

Favorite Season

None

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/9/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meat, Asparagus, Greens (Mixed)

Death Date

3/14/2009

Short Description

Urologist Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. (1923 - 2009 ) started a private practice called the Lockwood Professional Group, and had a nineteen year tenure with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas as a full-time faculty member. Upon retirement, he worked in an STD clinic in Houston and was on the front lines of the HIV epidemic in the black population.

Employment

United States Army

Provident Hospital

Hover G. Philips Hospital

Lockwood Professional Group

Baylor College of Medicine

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:291,5:2134,38:2910,47:4850,86:5626,95:26538,393:27723,406:34234,519:40863,630:44432,710:52151,862:67894,1211:88885,1459:99665,1628:106819,1828:107549,1882:114739,1925:121746,2048:122054,2106:122362,2111:123671,2190:123979,2195:131350,2263:132870,2281:141430,2483:159874,2715:166882,2836:176764,3012:178584,3069:192030,3312:192750,3321:193830,3342:194280,3347:203000,3441:206920,3502$0,0:450,19:2850,62:9300,241:9825,250:14100,341:28250,532:31063,560:31451,565:35276,592:38415,655:43671,827:49000,916:49584,928:53964,1033:54256,1038:78394,1410:83555,1559:84155,1568:86555,1639:86855,1644:98930,1892:109876,2016:110208,2021:125340,2436:132083,2536:132448,2542:132813,2549:133324,2564:137374,2615:137966,2624:139372,2693:146170,2805
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. talks about his birth on the Taylor Plantation in Como, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls the residents of Lake Forest, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls the residents of Lake Forest, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his early arts education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his academic honors

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his experiences of corporal punishment

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. talks about his integrated schooling

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his grade school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls his guardians, Alice Black and Sherman Black

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls his teachers at Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers Coach Edgar William Lindenmeyer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls his arrival at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his social life at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. talks about his experiences at Fisk University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls his service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. talks about his decision to attend medical school

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes the medical controversies of the 1940s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls the accomplishments of African American doctors

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his medical internship and residency

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his mentors in urology

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls serving in the Korean War

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. reflects upon American foreign policy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls opening a medical practice in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his civil rights involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. talks about his professional affiliations in medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers reviewing medical malpractice cases

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his work at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls working at sexual health clinic

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. remembers his academic honors
Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr. recalls the accomplishments of African American doctors
Transcript
When some awards were being made, the American Legion was giving out some awards, the smartest person in the school system was Ruth Cohen, Jewish. As I recall according to the Iowa system of testing [Iowa Test of Basic Skills] she had an IQ of 171, 181. You know who was second? Old Robert Bacon [HistoryMaker Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr.] was number two. Robert Bacon's IQ was 151, 160. And academically Robert Bacon chased Ruth Cohen from the fifth grade through high school (laughter), never caught her. She had a sister who was one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen, she was near genius. She had a brother who was also the same. But for some reason he could never pass French, he had to go to summer school three years in a row (laughter) to finally pass French. But Ruth ended up, she went to, she got a scholarship, she went to University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois], and in five years she had a master's [degree] and a Ph.D. in biophysics. She and the guy she married were down there in Tennessee in that big atomic plant in Tennessee. When she died that's where, she had retired from down there. I don't know what happened to her brother and sister. But anyway, the American Legion would give out these awards every year for the top girl and the top boy. So when the awards were being made, first award goes to Virginia Copithorne, Virginia's dad ran and was part of Wells and Copithorne hardware, big legionnaire. Second award goes to Trevor Kovan [ph.], father was a janitor at school and, and Trevor's father was the boss of the American Legion. And when that program was over John E. Baggett called everybody to the side and wanted to know where the hell did they get those grades from? In the meanwhile, Mr. Copithorne as I recall said Virginia couldn't have hers because he knew damn well that Virginia was not the top girl. And they were at that, I think at that time, there were two blacks that belonged to the American Legion post, Walter Williams [ph.] and Clarence McIntosh, but all hell broke loose at that American Legion post I understand. So when I got to high school [Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest, Illinois], who got the awards in high school, Ruth Cohen and Robert Bacon got the awards for citizenship, academic this and that (laughter). And what happened to Trevor, he was a good C student in high school, Virginia was always a good B student but Trevor was not an honor student. But that was one of my good experiences with race there. The other came when Mr. Emma [Joseph Emma], who ran the Deerpath Theatre [Lake Forest, Illinois], suddenly decided that the blacks should sit in the balcony. Because one Saturday, oh, you know, Saturday we go see what, one, Buck--one of the big western movies, you know, you had the movie, the coming attractions, the cartoon and all that. And we go there and, oh, yeah, and the serials too, and we go there and he tells us we got to go upstairs. So we go up there and we thought maybe something (unclear). After a while we realize nobody's up there but the black kids. And who was it? Lillian Harrison [ph.], and one of the other girls, I think, one of the Casselberry girls, they went downstairs and wanted to know what it's all about. And they get an all off the wall answer and he, so anyway there's somebody brought it up at the city council meeting, and Mr. Emma gave a whole lot of roundabout reasons but he was informed that that was not in the best interest of the city and it dropped.$(Simultaneous) But that was the thing I learned there because after graduating Meharry [Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee] came, you know, the internships and residencies. But this is where I started meeting and finding out how much the black physicians had contributed to, to our care as a whole because I met some outstanding mentors there at Meharry. Matthew Walker [Matthew Walker, Sr.] didn't take a backseat to nobody in the field of surgery. And it was admitted. And as late, as early as 1945, '46 [1946], we were getting lectures about lung cancer and smoking and, of course, nobody paid it any attention. I think Meharry medical school or Washington University in St. Louis [St. Louis, Missouri] and I think the guys out at Johns Hopkins [Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland] were but three schools whose faculty were saying then that smoking was a cause of lung cancer. And, of course, the tobacco companies exerted their pressures, and, you know, it didn't get too far. But this is when I met some outstanding men. Dr. James [ph.], the black prince in obstetrics and gynecology and some of the contributions he made. And then some of the men who graduated from there, the class ahead of me, a guy named Lawrence [ph.] who went out, later ended up out at the University of Iowa Medical Center [University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa] as one of their outstanding surgeons. Some of them guys are produced by Meharry and Howard [Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.]. But it was a learning experience from the standpoint of knowing what we could do and what we were doing but how little of it was known. I think that was the thing that really got to us. All these things were, but it would come out only in the national, Journal of the National Medical Association. Because up at Howard, R. Frank Jones and his partner [Kline Price] wrote some of the most original articles in the field of urology, that's my field, and those articles were never published in The Journal of Urology until some years ago. And Frank--but they came out in the Journal of the National Medical Association. In fact, Hereford [Merle Hereford] and Bacon [HistoryMaker Dr. Robert J. Bacon, Sr.] wrote a paper. If you go to The Journal of Urology, it came out in the Missouri state journal [Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association; Missouri Medicine]. And then Bacon wrote another, Bacon wrote another paper didn't come out in The Journal of Urology, came out in the local paper, Journal of the International College of Surgeons. But those, the American Medical Association, for years--but it was rather ironic a couple of years ago, who should be president of the American Medical Association? A black doctor from Detroit [Michigan].

Dr. Delutha King

DeLutha Porter Harold King, Jr. was born January 17, 1924 in Weir City, Kansas. His father DeLutha King Sr., a graduate of Lincoln University and minister in the C.M.E. church and his mother, Julia Banks King, a restaurant owner, moved King and his sister, Veatrice, to Kansas City, Missouri where they grew up. King attended the University of Kansas until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. From 1943 to 1945, he served in Europe in the all Black 43rd Signal Battalion as the company’s German interpreter.

King obtained a B.S. degree in zoology and english and a teaching certificate from Case Western Reserve University in 1952 while he worked full time for the U. S. Postal service since he was unable to find employment in his field when he returned from the war. He completed his M.D. degree in 1956; his internship in 1957 and his residency in surgical urology in 1961 at the Howard University College of Medicine and Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1956, King established the Student American Medical Association (SAMA), a chapter of the national A.M.A. at Howard University College of Medicine. He was the first person of color to be elected to the national office of SAMA Councilors. King was also the second recipient of the Daniel Hale Williams Award from the Association of Former interns and residents of the Freedmen’s Hospital.

King began his medical career as one of two urologists and was the only urologist of color in the state of Alabama at the V.A. Hospital in Tuskegee. He was Chief of Urology Services at the Veteran’s Administration from 1961 to 1965 and a Urology Consultant at John A. Andrew V.A. Hospital from 1966 to 1972. King moved to Atlanta and opened a private urology practice from 1966 to 1970 at 985 Hunter Street. In 1968, he moved his offices to 2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a multi-specialty building that he and eight other African American investors built. He operated his business out of 2600 Martin Luther King Drive, now a part of Grady Hospital Clinic, until 1999.

King’s career and accomplishments span over a forty-five year period. In 1971, he co-founded the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, dedicated to the education, screening and counseling for Sickle Cell Anemia; the Atlanta Health Care Foundation in 1973; Metro Atlanta Health Plan Inc., the forerunner of the establishment of the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in 1980; Health First, the HMO in 1985 and the Health First Foundation which contributes grants to non-profit health-oriented organizations in Georgia in 1986. King has been certified and licensed to practice medicine and urology in the states of Alabama, California, Maryland and Georgia. He has been licensed since 1966 in Georgia. He is on the Board of Trustees and a member of the Medical Advisory Board at Morehouse School of Medicine where he held Faculty positions from 1980 to 1986.

His article, “Prostatic Calculi Associated with Priapism” is published in the Journal of the NMA (1952); “Parathyroidism and Calculi”, co-authored with Dr. Yancy is in the Journal of the SMA (1967) and editorial, “HMOs Come to Georgia—Responsible Cost Control Without Radical Change” in Urban Health (1979).

In 2001, King received the Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from Morehouse College. In 2006, he received an award for fifty years of practicing medicine. King is an active member of the American Urological Association, AMA, NMA, Georgia State Medical Association and Southwest Atlanta Urology Associates, Inc., an organization that he founded in 1970. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the NAACP.

King resides in Atlanta with his wife, Lois Weaver King.

Accession Number

A2006.025

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/17/2006 |and| 2/21/2006 |and| 3/18/2006

Last Name

King

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

R. T. Coles Vocational/Junior High School

William W. Yates Elementary School

University of Kansas

Case Western Reserve University

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

DeLutha

Birth City, State, Country

Weir City

HM ID

KIN10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

1/17/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chili

Short Description

Urologist Dr. Delutha King (1924 - ) was the first urologist of color in the state of Alabama at the V.A. Hospital in Tuskegee. King operated his own urology practice for many years.

Employment

Freedmen's Hospital

Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center

Private Practice

Health First Foundation

North Central Georgia Health Systems Agency

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Delutha King's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his father's career and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King talks about his father's ministry and carwash business

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King describes his grandparents' farm

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the Ku Klux Klan activity in Weir, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King describes his family's farm work

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Delutha King remembers celebrating Juneteenth in Weir, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Delutha King describes his chores

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Delutha King recalls learning to swim

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his paternal great-grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King recalls moving to Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King recalls working as an apprentice to his neighbor

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King remembers playing softball

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes W.W. Yates Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes his neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King describes his upbringing in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King describes his early pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King remembers R.T. Coles Vocational and Junior High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King recalls Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his early interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King remembers selling the Kansas City Call newspaper

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his relationship with his sister

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his mother's career advice

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King recalls arriving at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King talks about graduating early from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes the fraternal organizations at the University of Kansas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King remembers reporting for U.S. military duty

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his assignments in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Delutha King's interview, session 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King recalls reporting for basic training at Fort Clark, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his basic training in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his deployment to the European front of World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King remembers arriving in France during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his experiences in Germany during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his living conditions while serving in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King remembers the U.S. military's K-rations

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his U.S. military awards

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the 43rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King recalls the racial discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King remembers serving in Germany during World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King recalls returning to the United States after World War II

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes his experiences of employment discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King remembers enrolling at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King recalls working as a substitute teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his first year at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes his medical coursework

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King recalls selecting a medical internship

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his admissions interview at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King recalls graduating from the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his influential medical instructors

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King describes the faculty of Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King talks about his medical internship

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King describes his urological residency at Freedman's Hospital

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King recalls transferring to the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King explains the duties of an urologist

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King remembers the black community in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King recalls his experiences as an urologist in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King describes the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Dr. Delutha King remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Dr. Delutha King describes the Student American Medical Association

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King remembers his mentors at the Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King remembers moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King recalls practicing medicine under segregation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King talks about his medical licensure

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King describes his private medical practice

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King recalls cofounding a multi-specialty medical facility

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the emergence of health maintenance organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King recalls establishing a health maintenance organization

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King recalls educating the community about health maintenance organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Delutha King's interview, session 3

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King describes the process of creating a health maintenance organization

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the Health First Foundation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his membership in professional organizations

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King describes his medical facilities in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King talks about the desegregation of Atlanta's hospitals

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King describes his private medical offices

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Dr. Delutha King recalls cofounding the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Dr. Delutha King describes the services provided by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Dr. Delutha King describes his retirement

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Dr. Delutha King describes the North Central Georgia Health Systems Agency

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Dr. Delutha King describes his reasons for sharing his story

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Dr. Delutha King reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Dr. Delutha King describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Dr. Delutha King reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Dr. Delutha King narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Dr. Delutha King narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

2$3

DATape

5$8

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
Dr. Delutha King remembers serving in Germany during World War II
Dr. Delutha King recalls cofounding the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc.
Transcript
We were talking about your particular unit [43rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion], and whether or not you all had, like, hand-to-hand combat like some of the others. Because you were sort of, not special, but you--communication was extremely important.$$Right.$$So, you had to be protected to keep the lines open for (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We did, yeah.$$--communication.$$And we carried rifles and live ammunition, and we posted guards while we slept at night in the field. And on two occasions, we pulled up into a small German community, and nobody--we couldn't see a soul; nobody was on the street. And we went into a couple of the homes and the food was still on the table, and cups of coffee was still warm. These people had left in a hurry. And we learned that there was a plan to bomb that little town, and that's why these people had left, and we didn't know about it. But on the road, we saw all of the American servicemen going in the opposite direction, to us. And we wondered why everybody was such in a rush. Well, our officer had not gotten the communication that there was a problem in this town. And we didn't need to be there, so we had to turn around and hightail it out of there. And fortunately, we did that.$$You did get out in time?$$Yes we got out in time. But I thought we might have to do some hand-to-hand that day (laughter).$$Okay. So, is there anything that I might have missed that you can tell us about, you know, your experience?$$Oh, only that there was one incident that really stayed with me a long time. I was selected as sort of an interpreter for our company, and I would go with the liaison officer.$$And this is German? You were fluent in German?$$We were--well, I spoke German.$$Okay.$$I wasn't fluent, but I was, I could make them understand me and I could understand them.$$But you were the interpreter for (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) I was the interpreter, since I was the only one in this company who did. So, I was elected to go and make arrangements with the burgermeisters, the mayors of the villages, for our billets. I'd go ahead to the next twenty-five mile point, and we would make those kinds of arrangements. Well, we did this in France and--I'm sorry, we were in--this was in and around Bastogne [Belgium]. And we went up one day and ended up in this quaint beautiful village with boutiques all along the road; artwork, and just a lovely little village. I went back the next day, and all of this convoy is behind us. And we just drove and drove and drove. And we didn't see anything; didn't see anything like we had seen the day before. And the reason was it was all bombed out, it was totally destroyed. I could not believe the difference overnight. And that was something that really stayed with me a long time, partly because we had to turn all those people around and bring them back to that same location. And we finally, we had selected an old church that was empty. And the roof was gone, and most of the windows were out, but that's where we (laughter) had to stay. It was the only available place for a group that size.$Basically, what does your day consist of? I know that you, since you don't have--you closed the practice [Southwest Atlanta Urological Associates, Atlanta, Georgia]; you retired from the practice, and we know that you're with the, you know, the Health First Foundation [Atlanta, Georgia].$$Right.$$And with sickle cell. Do you still, are you active with sickle cell?$$Yes, I am.$$Okay. Tell us what--what we should ask you is how did the Sickle Cell Foundation [Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia]--you know, how did that come about?$$Well, Dr. Nelson McGhee [Nelson McGhee, Jr.], the late Dr. McGhee and I attended a meeting of the National Medical Association in 1971, I guess, in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And there was a presentation made on sickle cell disease, and it was made by a layperson. And as we listened, we were a little nonplussed by the references that were made about the longevity of sickle cell patients generally, and the problems that they faced. And in one or two areas, we had some concerns with the veracity of statements made. So when we got back home, we looked around to see what was in existence at the time dealing with patients like that. And we went to the various agencies and learned that there were no agencies dealing with sickle cell disease. So, that really prompted the beginning of our organization, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia. So, we set about establishing an office, and we found a very capable young woman who was the head teller at a bank which was located in our building at 2600 [2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive], Miss Jean Brannan [Delores Brannan]. And Dr. McGhee persuaded her to leave her job--and she was pregnant at that time with her first child I believe--and come to work with our foundation as a volunteer, which she did. And ultimately she became our executive director, and then president and COO.$$Okay.$$And she currently serves as that, in that same position today, all these years later. And we had a great deal of support from the community. Mrs. Clayton, whose name we mentioned earlier, [HistoryMaker] Xernona Clayton, organized a group of some twenty, twenty-five lovely ladies in the City of Atlanta [Georgia], and they were called the Souls for Sickle Cell [ph.]. And they put on a dinner for us in a large hotel in downtown Atlanta. They were worried about whether they could fill a dining room, and whether there'd be enough money coming. They wanted to raise ten thousand dollars for the foundation, and in those days that was a whole lot of money. And as things turned out, she was able to garner the presence of a number of stars, television personalities, movie stars, and--$$Name a few for us who did attend.$$The, the--Jackson, Reverend Jesse Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson] was the featured speaker. And there was a television actress, Nicole [sic. HistoryMaker Denise Nicholas]--I can't call her last name at the moment. She was on '222' ['Room 222'], that was a popular television show at the time.$$Okay, '222.'$$And gee, I can't--$$I remember the show. Her name is escaping me, too. So, that's okay.$$Yeah, yeah, a very attractive lady. But the dinner was a major success. We had people--we had to put tables up almost out in the hallways in order to get them all in. And of course, they went beyond the goal of ten thousand dollars, and that was the very first funding that allowed the foundation to do some very important things like pay their rent and hire people and get things started. And we also had some additional funds that came from then Governor Jimmy Carter [James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] to help us on the way.