Hugh H. Young

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hugh Hampton Young, published in A book of Portraits, Johns Hopkins, 1922

Hugh Hampton Young, M.D. (September 18, 1870 – August 23, 1945) was an American surgeon, urologist, and medical researcher.


Hugh H. Young was born in San Antonio, Texas on September 18, 1870.[1][2] He was the son of Confederate Brigadier General William Hugh Young and Frances (Kemper) Young.[1][2]

Young graduated from the University of Virginia in 1891 after acquiring BA, MA, and MD degrees in just four years. As of 1895 he began teaching at Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute and by 1897 he was the head of their urology department, at an age of just 27.[3] He remained there for most of his life, until 1940.

Among Young's contributions to the medical field are several inventions and discoveries, primarily relating to surgery. One such innovation was the "boomerang needle", a type of surgical needle designed for working with deep incisions. He also invented a device known as the Young punch, an instrument used in prostatectomy procedures. He and his associates also discovered the antiseptic merbromin, more popularly known as Mercurochrome, one of its brand names.

He is credited with conceiving of the use of radical perineal prostatectomy to treat prostate cancer and performed the first operation of that kind on April 7, 1904. He learned the procedure from Dr. George Goodfellow,[4][5][6] who first performed the operation in 1891. Goodfellow's original purpose was to treat bladder problems caused by an enlarged prostate. Goodfellow traveled extensively across the United States for several years training other physicians in the operation, including Dr. Young. Goodfellow completed 78 operations and only two patients died, a remarkable level of success for the time period.[5]

In World War I Young was a Major in charge of the venereal health of the Doughboys in France. He fought prostitution near American bases vigorously and with the full cooperation of General Pershing.

In addition to his pioneering medical work, Young had a personal interest in the burgeoning field of aviation and chaired a committee for planning what is now Baltimore-Washington International Airport, which at the time was to be named "Friendship Airport". He was also active in community affairs and was known to be a supporter of Albert Cabell Ritchie, a Maryland politician who made a bid for presidency in 1932 but lost the nomination to Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago, where Young was among the delegates.

Young wrote an autobiography entitled Hugh Young, a surgeon's autobiography (published by Harcourt, Brace and company in 1940)[1] as well as several urological texts. He died on August 23, 1945 and is buried in Druid Ridge Cemetery, in Baltimore, Maryland.

The American Urological Association presents an annual award called the Hugh Hampton Young Award named in his honor. Notable recipients include John K. Lattimer, pioneer of pediatric urology and physician investigator of the JFK assassination, and Larry I. Lipshultz, founder of Society for the Study of Male Reproduction.


  1. ^ a b c Young, Hugh. Hugh Young: a Surgeon's Autobiography. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1940. OCLC 1311206. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Early, Ruth Hairston. The family of Early: which settled upon the eastern shore of Virginia. Lynchburg, Virginia: Brown-Morrison Press, 1920. OCLC 9510197. Retrieved February 7, 2012. p. 55.
  3. ^ Urology at Hopkins: Brady Urological Institute. Retrieved on 2012-03-12.
  4. ^ Trimble, Marshall. "The Horse & Buggy Doctors of Territorial Days". Wild West Gazette. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b "George Goodfellow's Medical Treatment of Stomach Wounds Became Legendary". The Prescott Courier. May 2, 1980. p. 4.
  6. ^ "George Goodfellow Investigates Earthquake". Retrieved 9 March 2013.