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Max Thorek (March 10, 1880 – January 25, 1960) was born in Hungary. His family emigrated to Chicago where Thorek finished his medical degree at Rush Medical College in 1904. Thorek worked in obstetrics, general, and reconstructive surgery. His innovative techniques and practices are still widely used in surgery today.
He founded the International College of Surgeons in 1935 and the International Museum of Surgical Science in a Chicago Gold Coast mansion in 1954. Dr. Thorek was also the founder of Thorek Memorial Hospital, still in operation in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.
Thorek wrote an autobiography entitled A Surgeon's World in 1943, which has been transcribed in full and is available on the internet. Thorek was also an internationally acclaimed amateur photographer during the pictorialist movement, and author of several books on the subject, including Camera Art as a Means of Self-Expression (1947) and Creative Camera Art (1937).
Thorek died in Chicago on January 25, 1960.