Harold Stewart

Harold Leroy "Red" Stewart


Born: 6 August 1899, Houtzdale, Pennsylvania

Died: 30 May 1998, Bethesda, Maryland

Academic Degrees

  • Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson College
  • MD: Jefferson Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1926

Academic Positions

  • 1929 - 1937 Fellow, Instructor, then Assistant Professor in Pathology, Jefferson Medical School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 937 - 1939 Public Health Service, Office of Cancer Investigations (predecessor of the National Cancer Institute), Harvard University Medical School
  • 1939 - 1969 Pathology Chief, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Head of the First Section of Pathology, under the direction of Harry Eagle, the first head of a specific Research Branch at the now NIH; and one of the founding fathers of the National Cancer Institute)
  • 1969 - 1996 NIH Research Scientist Emeritus

Military Service

  • 1918 Private, U.S. Marine Corps
  • 1926 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Army Medical Corps
  • retired with rank of Lieutenant Colonel

Selected Career Highlights

  • Helped found the Registry of Experimental Cancers at the NIH (assembling and organizing a collection of over 300,000 slides covering nearly every significant neoplasm created in the laboratory).

  • President of six medical societies including, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society for Experimental Pathology, and the IAP.

  • Advisor, Consultant to: WHO, AFIP, Uniformed Health Services School. (Helped implement, with Shields Warren, developments leading to the Atlas of Tumor Pathology (AFIP Fascicles so-called).

  • Helped found the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and received the Gold-Headed Cane from the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists (1978)

  • Published over 250 articles and trained scientists from 20 different nations. Publications varied from chemical carcinogenesis (e.g., methylcholanthrene carcinogenesis and gastrointestinal malignancies) in inbred mice, to spontaneous neoplasia in animals. He was an acknowledged expert on Scottish Literature.

  • His "brown-bag lunches," where he hosted visiting and staff scientists at the NIH in his office, became an institution. Renowned for his sparkling and often acerbic wit, offering to do a "free autopsy" on those who disagreed with him (and interesting liberal use of profanity).

  • He states: "I learned to use profanity at a young age, not from my father whose most profane expression was "heavens and stars", but from the hustlers who worked in my father's livery stable. Later, after I had joined the Marine Corp in 1918, I soon came to realize that the profanity I had learned at Houtzdale was dull and unimaginative. That which I picked up in the Marine Corp extended my vocabulary considerably. Marines from some of the southern states, I learned, could string together a series of swear words that equaled or exceeded the length of an average sentence used in ordinary conversation. This experience enhanced my admiration for the training offered by the Marine Corp...Those of us who were brought up in the Judaic-Christian religions are limited by the number of gods whose curses on others we can evoke. Not so with the ancient Greeks and Romans. They had a whole constellation of deities, both gods and goddesses, to anyone of whom a citizen of these countries could appeal to put a curse on an enemy...their paucity also limits our vocabulary."

  • He was also a "formidable" poker player.


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