James Rouse recovering from surgery Developer underwent 5 coronary bypasses

May 27, 1992|By Kevin Thomas | Kevin Thomas,Staff Writer

James Rouse, the 78-year-old philanthropist and developer, underwent coronary bypass surgery over the weekend just as celebrations commenced to mark the 25th anniversary of Columbia, the city he founded.

Mr. Rouse, 78, was in stable condition yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was admitted to Howard County General Hospital with chest pains last Wednesday after becoming ill while attending a dinner with friends.

He was transferred to Hopkins the next day, said officials of Rouse's Enterprise Foundation.

"There is every indication that Jim will recover fully and be back at work at the foundation," said Mathias J. DeVito, chairman of the Rouse Co.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Rouse said the developer did not have a heart attack and did not suffer heart damage before surgery.

Because of his sudden illness, a "Salute to Jim Rouse" sponsored by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and %% scheduled for tonight has been postponed until September. No date has been set.

A parade marking Columbia's 25th anniversary went on as scheduled Friday.

Other Columbia birthday events scheduled through June are also expected to proceed as planned. A June 6 forum, at which Mr. Rouse was expected to give his views on the future governance of Columbia, will be held on that date even though Mr. Rouse will be unable to attend.

Dr. William A. Baumgartner, a professor of cardiac surgery at Hopkins, said Mr. Rouse underwent surgery for five coronary bypasses Saturday.

Dr. Baumgartner said bypass surgery is conducted to increase the flow of blood to the heart, and that five bypasses are not unusual.

Mr. Rouse is best known for creating Columbia and a string of innovative retail centers across the nation. The Enterprise Foundation is a non-profit corporation Mr. Rouse founded 10 years ago to find new ways to create affordable housing for the poor.

In 1979, Mr. Rouse retired as chief executive officer of the Rouse Co., the business he used to spearhead Columbia's development.

He had served as chief executive officer for nearly 40 years.

In 1984, he relinquished his post as Rouse Co. chairman.

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