Ludvig Hektoen

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Ludvig Hektoen
BornJuly 2, 1863
DiedJuly 5, 1951(1951-07-05) (aged 88)
Alma materCollege of Physicians and Surgeons
AwardsAmerican Medical Association Distinguished Service Medal
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago

Ludvig Hektoen (July 2, 1863 – July 5, 1951) was an American pathologist. Hektoen published widely and served as editor of a number of medical journals. In 1942, Hektoen received the American Medical Association's Distinguished Service Medal for his life's work.


Hektoen was born into a Norwegian immigrant community in Westby, Vernon County, Wisconsin. He was the son of Peter P. and Olave Thorsgaard Hektoen. His father was a Lutheran parochial school teacher. He attended the Monona Academy in Madison, Wisconsin and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1883 from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago, receiving his M.D. degree in 1888. Between 1890 and 1895, he studied abroad in Uppsala, Prague and Berlin.[1]


In 1889, Hektoen was appointed as pathologist in the Cook County Hospital, where he served until 1903. In 1889, he was additionally made curator of the museum of Rush Medical College and in 1890 physician to the Coroner's Office of Cook County and lecturer in Pathology at Rush Medical College. In 1898, Hektoen became professor of Pathology at Rush Medical College and in 1901, professor and head of the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago. He served in these dual capacities until 1932-1933, when he became professor emeritus.

In 1901, Hektoen was president of the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists and in 1929 of the Society of American Bacteriologists. He served as chairman of the Division of the Medical Sciences of the National Research Council in 1924, 1926, and 1929. From 1936 to 1938 he was also chairman of the National Research Council. He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1935-1938. He was chairman of the Section on Pathology and Bacteriology in 1900 and 1901 and was a member of the House of Delegates in 1918 and in 1920 with the American Medical Association. He served the United States Public Health Service from 1934 to 1938 as a member of the National Health Council and from 1937 to 1944 as executive director of the National Advisory Cancer Council.

From 1904 until 1941, he was editor of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. In 1926 he became editor of the Archives of Pathology, serving until 1950. For many years he edited both the Transactions of the Chicago Pathological Society and the Proceedings of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago and served as editorial writer for the Journal of the American Medical Association. In 1894 he wrote a book on post-mortem examination and in 1901 he was co-editor of a textbook of pathology.[2][3]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Technique of Post-Mortem Examination (1894)
  • Segmentation and fragmentation of the myocardium (1897)
  • The development of medicine: Address introductory to the fifty-fifth annual course in Rush Medical College (1897)
  • A Text-Book of Pathology for the use of students and practitioners of medicine and surgery (1901)
  • Phagocytosis and opsonins (Proceedings of the New York pathological Society (1906)
  • On the formation and fate of antibodies (1909)
  • The History of Experimental Scarlet Fever In Man (1923)
  • The Determination of the Infectious Nature of Acute Endocarditis (1930)
  • Early Pathology in Chicago and Christian Fenger (1937)


  1. ^ "Chicago Area Archivists - CAMA History Project - Hektoen". Retrieved 2010-07-19.[dead link]
  2. ^ Sandra Young. "Ludvig Hektoen Papers: An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences Inventory". Retrieved 2010-07-19.
  3. ^ "Lasker Syndicate Operations in Wisconsin". Retrieved 2010-07-19.

Other sources[edit]

  • Cannon, Paul R. Ludvig Hektoen, Pathologist. 1863—1951 A Biographical Memoir. Washington D. C., National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoirs Vol. XXVIII. 1954.
  • Fishbein, Morris. Ludvig Hektoen—A Biography and an Appreciation. Archives of Pathology 26:1-31. 1938.
  • Herrick, James B. Ludvig Hektoen Proceedings of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago 19:3-11. 1952.
  • Peterson, John. Ludvig Hektoen: A Norwegian American. 1980.
  • Simonds, James P. Ludvig Hektoen: A Study in Changing Scientific Interests. Proceedings of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago 14:284-287. 1942.

External links[edit]