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Edward W.D. Norton, MD

  • Presented: 
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame


“I think he’ll be remembered as an outstanding ophthalmologist but an even greater and extraordinary leader of outstanding ophthalmologists…He had a standard of excellence, excellence in patient care, education and research.”

—John G. Clarkson, MD

Edward W.D. Norton was known as much for his accomplishments in ophthalmology as he was for his wonderful personality. Integrity, honesty, wisdom, insight, generosity, and patience were qualities he possessed in abundance. His perseverance and hard work paid off when he founded and led the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine from 1959–1991. He assembled an extraordinary faculty, created a noncompetitive atmosphere, sparking and supporting work in a variety of areas including ocular pathology, macular diseases, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and laser research. Fluorescein angiography and retinal detachment surgery were of particular interest to him. He accomplished groundbreaking work. He indulged his passion for collecting ophthalmic books, eventually creating a library at Bascom Palmer that is one of the finest ophthalmic collections in the world. He remained humble, although he won many major ophthalmic awards and served as president of various organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Club Jules Gonin.