April 4, 1901-February 14, 1987
BY JOHN R. PAPPENHEIMER
IN 1942 WALTER B. CANNON retired from the Harvard Medical School after serving more than thirty-five years as the George Higginson Professor of Physiology. Like his predecessor, Henry Pickering Bowditch, Cannon had brought extraordinary distinction to the Harvard Medical School and indeed to american medical sciences in general. His re-Burwell, a challenge that was magnified by the wartime conplacement presented a difficult challenge for Dean Sidney ditions of 1942. In November of 1941 Dean Burwell wrote as follows to James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard University:
This to report to you the situation with regard to two important pending appointments at the Medical School. Of these, much the most important is the appointment of a successor to Dr. Cannon. I have reached a solution in my mind which I believe is the best one that can be made . . . . This paragon is Dr. Eugene Landis, now Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia . . . . Lest you misjudge the kind of fellow he is from the fact that he is Professor of Medicine let me point out that he is a Doctor of Philosophy as well as of Medicine . . . . He is a naturalist who applies to the solution of problems of bodily function the principles of physics and chemistry. It does not seem to me to be a disadvantage that he has a knowledge of the changes in function which occur during the course of disease. Aside from distinction in research he is a person of broad knowledge and understanding.