Charles R. Baxter

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Charles Rufus Baxter (November 4, 1929 – March 10, 2005) was an American medical doctor. Baxter was one of the doctors who unsuccessfully tried to save U.S. President John F. Kennedy after he was shot in Dallas, Texas, in 1963.


Born in Paris, Texas, Baxter graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1950. He then attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas where he received his medical degree in 1954.[1]

Baxter was the emergency room director at Parkland Memorial Hospital when Kennedy was shot, and famously said of the event in 1988:

As soon as we realized we had nothing medical to do, we all backed off from the man with a reverence that one has for one's president, and we did not continue to be doctors from that point on. We became citizens again, and there were probably more tears shed in that room than in the surrounding hundred miles.[2]

He also operated on Texas Governor John Connally, who had been wounded in the attack.[2]

Baxter made advances in the treatment of burn victims, and founded the burn unit[citation needed] and a skin-graft bank at Parkland.[2]

He died in Dallas, Texas, on March 10, 2005, of pneumonia, aged 75.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chales Baxter Obituary". Washington Post. 2005-03-13. Retrieved 2006-03-16.
  2. ^ a b c "Chales Baxter Obituary". New York Times. 2005-03-15. Retrieved 2006-03-16.

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