William W. Scott, 87, urology pioneer

June 19, 2000|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. William Wallace Scott, the Johns Hopkins University urology professor emeritus who helped transform his institute into a world-famous research facility, died Friday of complications of pneumonia at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 87 and lived on a farm in Freeland in northern Baltimore County.

Recognized as one of the country's leading urologists and teachers, he spent a lifetime investigating prostate cancer and training a generation of urologists.

"He was one of the great world leaders of his time in the field of urology," said Dr. Patrick C. Walsh, chief urologist at the Brady Urological Institute.

"He was a man of great intellect and kindness. He loved his patients and his students and was extremely loyal. Because of his great humanity, patients responded with generous support of the institute's endowment."

The institute was named for "Diamond" Jim Brady, a flamboyant New York businessman who had successful prostate surgery at Johns Hopkins in the early 20th century.

Dr. Scott was recalled as a compassionate physician who had the time to speak to and listen to his patients and address their concerns, no matter how busy he was. He was also considered a brilliant researcher.

"I think of him as a gentle Midwesterner," said Dr. Richard S. Ross, dean emeritus of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "He was always very patient and understanding of the emotional nature of urological problems."

Born in Kansas City, Kan., he was one of three sons who obtained their medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Chicago's School of Medicine. He studied the hormonal treatment of prostate cancer under the Nobel Prize winner Dr. Charles Huggins.

Dr. Scott was named head of the department of urology at Johns Hopkins in 1946. He developed a renowned residency program in urology and transformed the Brady Institute of Urology into a world-famous research and teaching facility.

During his tenure, 22 of his 65 residents in training went on to head departments of urology at medical schools around the world.

In 1989, at Hopkins' centennial, Dr. Thomas Stamey, of Stanford University Medical Center, remarked that Dr. Scott had "trained more department chairmen than any other urologic program head in the country."

Dr. Scott founded the journal Investigative Urology and later oversaw its incorporation into the Journal of Urology, which he edited. He won numerous awards and medals in his field.

In 1936, he married the former Jesse Law McGraw. She died in 1991. The couple had a wide variety of interests - including the cultivation of azaleas and rhododendrons, raising and breeding cattle and building furniture. In his later years, he restored vintage Buick Rivieras, a Lincoln convertible and Jaguars.

A memorial service is pending.

He is survived by a son, William W. Scott of Cockeysville, and three grandchildren.

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