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Stewart Duke-Elder, FRS

  • Presented: 
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame


“His was advice of the soundest kind, succinct and positive, and based on innate wisdom coupled with unparalleled experience.”
—Paul Henkind, MD, in a 1978 obituary in Archives of Ophthalmology

Sir Stewart Duke-Elder, a Scot, was a dominant force in British and international ophthalmology for more than a quarter of a century. He is best remembered as a talented and prolific writer and editor, producing seven volumes of Textbook of Ophthalmology and fifteen volumes of System of Ophthalmology, along with many other textbooks and scientific papers that provided the educational foundation for most of the world’s ophthalmologists. This monumental contribution to medical literature earned him the title of Fellow of the Royal Society in England. In addition to his own writings, Duke-Elder served for many years as editor of British Journal of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Literature and he was instrumental in the formation and research direction of the Institute of Ophthalmology in London. He was knighted in 1933 and subsequently earned many more honors, serving as the Surgeon-Oculist to King Edward VIII, George V and the present Queen Elizabeth.

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