Robert W. Quinn (1913-1999) biographical file
Biographical file includes photographs of Dr. Quinn, his family, his medical school class, and his automobiles; correspondence from colleagues; newspaper clippings; RXs and articles from the VUMC Reporter; reprinted journal articles; obituaries; a copy of his medical license; telegram; letters; and greeting cards from friends.
- 1928 - 1999
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Historical or Biographical Note
Dr. Robert Quinn was a native Californian, born in 1912 in Eureka. He graduated from Stanford University in 1933 and earned his M.D. from Montreal's McGill University in 1938. After his internship and residency years, Dr. Quinn served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps during World War II, retiring with the rank of captain.
After the war Quinn took a fellowship at Yale, which led to a faculty appointment as Instructor at that school in 1947. After a four-year stint as associate professor at the University Of Wisconsin School Of Medicine, Dr. Quinn came to Vanderbilt in 1952 and held the position of chair of preventive medicine and public health until 1978.
Dr. Quinn is a colorful figure in the history of VUMC. He was known for driving around town in a beloved convertible Morgan sports car, playing banjo in a style that made up in enthusiasm what it lacked in musical talent, and for demonstrating his considerable skills as a raconteur to all within hearing distance.
He was also known as a dedicated physician who worked at the Metro Health Department for years after his retirement from VUMC. In addition, he was a Golden Gloves prizefighter in his youth and was internationally recognized for his community-based studies of group A streptococcal infection and the prevention of rheumatic fever.
Dr. Quinn was a significant contributor to the life of the Medical School, to its programs and people, a person with charm and great good humor whose professional life was dedicated to the prevention and the delivery of health in the context of social justice. He passed away on October 10, 1999, at age 87.
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