TMA Presidents Interesting Facts

A few interesting facts about TMA presidents

Fathers and their sons from four medical families have served as TMA president:
Edwin Pinkney Becton, MD (1885-86) and Joe Becton, MD (1922-23)
George Valter Brindley, MD (1949-50) and George Valter Brindley, Jr, MD (1968-69)
Howard Rush Dudgeon, MD (1936-37) and Howard Rush Dudgeon, Jr. MD (1978-79)
Robert Mayo Tenery, MD (1963-64) and Robert Mayo Tenery, Jr., MD (1993-94)

So far, 63 TMA presidents have been identified as being of medical families; ie father, son, daughter, uncle, brother, grandparent. There are probably more.

Three TMA presidents were foreign-born.
George Cupples, MD (1853; 1878-89) and William Keillor, MD (1926-27) of Scotland; Berthold Ernest Hadra, MD (1900-01) of Germany.

Two TMA presidents died in office.
David R. Fly, MD (1911) and Joe E. Dildy, MD (1929)

Two TMA presidents served two terms.
George Cupples MD (1853; 1878-79) and Herschel Frank Connally, MD (1944-45; 1945-46)

Two TMA presidents were personal physicians of Sam Houston.
Thomas Jefferson Heard, MD (1868-69) and Ashbel Smith, MD (1881-82)

Five TMA presidents have been identified so far as serving in the Texas Legislature.
Joseph Taylor, MD, (1853); Robert Turner Flewellen, MD, (1872-73); Ashbel Smith, MD, (1881-82); Henry Clay Ghent, MD, (1884-85); Edwin Pinckney Becton, MD, (1885-86);

An article by Thomas Jefferson Heard, MD (1868-69) was published in Vol. 1 of JAMA. Dr. Heard served as the first TMA president when the Texas State Medical Association regrouped after the Civil War.

The first TMA president born is Texas was Samuel Clark Red, MD (1902-03). His second wife, Mrs. George C. Red, was the oldest sister of TMA President David Finney Stuart, MD (1873-74). Mrs. Red wrote The Medicine Man of Texas (several copies in the Archives), a 1930 book containing biographical sketches of many early Texas physicians. 

After Texas, Georgia is the birthplace of the most TMA presidents (10), followed by Louisiana (9), Alabama (8) and Arkansas (7)

Houston (19), Dallas (15), Fort Worth (14), San Antonio (12) and Austin (11) have provided 10 or more TMA presidents.

Five women: May Owen, MD (1960-61), Ruth Marie Bain, MD (1982-83) Betty Pearce Stephenson, MD (1994-95), Josie R. Williams, MD (2008-9), and Susan Rudd Bailey (2010-11); one Mexican-American: Mario Efrian Ramirez, MD, (1979-80); and one African-American: William Henry Fleming, III, MD (2009-10) are among the TMA presidents.

By far the three largest practice designations for TMA presidents have been GP, Family Practitioner, and Surgery.

These facts are based on material in presidential files of the TMA Archives and other resources added to create a biographical database on TMA presidents – Betsy Tyson, archives and exhibits coordinator. 


Last Updated On

January 23, 2019

Originally Published On

April 05, 2013

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