Thomas Earl Starzl
Thomas Earl Starzl’s grandfather John V. Starzl (1865-1932) was brought in 1878 from Bohemia to the US by his parents Joseph Starzl and Magdalena, nee Rűba.
Thomas Earl Starzl (1926-2017), M.D., Ph. D. – was born March 11, 1926 in LeMars, Iowa. He was an American physician, researcher, and expert on organ transplants. He performed the first human liver transplants, and has often been referred to as ‘The Father of Modern Transplantation.’
He attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. Starzl attended Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, where in 1950 he received a Master of Science degree in anatomy and in 1952 earned both a Ph.D. in neurophysiology and an M.D. with distinction.
Starzl spent an extra year at medical school, using the additional time to complete a Doctorate in Neurophysiology, in 1952. After obtaining his medical degree, Starzl trained in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. At both places, he conducted lab and animal research, showing a keen interest in liver biology.
Starzl was a surgeon and researcher in the then nascent field of organ transplantation at the University of Colorado from 1962 until his move to the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.
Sarzl was named one of the most important people of the Millennium, ranking No. 213, according to the authors of “1,000 Years, 1,000 People: Ranking the Men and Women Who Shaped the Millennium.”
Starzl has also received honorary degrees from 26 universities in the United States and abroad, which include 12 in Science, 11 in Medicine, 2 in Humane Letters, and 1 in Law.
Among numerous prizes and awards, he was recipient of the National Medal of Science (2006), presented by President George W. Bush in the White House; the Lasker Award (2012), Benjamin Franklin Medal (2016), etc.
His parents: Roman Frederick Starzl and Anna Laura, née Fitzgerald
Roman Frederick Starzl (1899–1976), born in Iowa, was an American author. He, and earlier, his father (John V. Starzl), owned the Le Mars Globe-Post newspaper of Le Mars, Iowa.
Until 1934, when he became sole owner of the Globe Post, he was a prolific science fiction writer one of the early visionaries of the genre. He wrote about space travel and rockets when only Goddard was taking them seriously. His first, and the best his story was “Out of the Sole Universe,” published in the Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1928.
His Grandparents: John V. Starzl and Margaret, nee Theisen.
John V. Starzl (1866-1931 ) was born in Věvrov, District Horšovský Týn, Plzeň Region, Bohemia. He came to this country when he was 11 years old. After attending the parochial St. Joseph’s High School (now Gehlen) in LeMars and reaching the age of 21, he moved to Chicago in 1886. During the next 11 years, he graduated from the Illinois College of Pharmacy, established a drug store, sold it, married Margaret Theisen and moved back to LeMars, Iowa where he purchased a German language newspaper called Der Herold. He continued owner and editor until August, 1917, when the plant was destroyed by fire. Starzl then purchased the LeMars Globe-Post, and he at the same time was endeavoring to rehabilitate the Herold.
His great grandparents: Joseph Starzl and Magdalena, nee Rűba
Joseph Starzl (1833-1907), was born in Věvrov, District Horšovský Týn, Plzeň Region, Bohemia . He and his wife immigrated to the US in 1878. After arriving in the United States in 1878, Joseph and Magdalena (Lena) and their first 6 children travelled (probably by train) to Merrill, Iowa, a small settlement (not yet a town) located about 6 miles from LeMars. LeMars became Dr. Starzl’s birthplace 40 years later.
Learn more about Dr. Thomas E. Starzl on his website.
(Our note: You can order Dr. Thomas E. Starzl’s book, The Puzzle People: Memoirs Of A Transplant Surgeon, here.)
Guest Post Author
Miloslav Rechcígl, Jr. is one of the founders and past Presidents of many years of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), an international professional organization based in Washington, DC. He is a native of Mladá Boleslav, Czechoslovakia, who has lived in the US since 1950.