September 21, 1898-January 13, 1981
BY MAURICE B. VISSCHER1
THOUGH MANY PHYSICIANS attain excellence as clinicians and a much smaller number as research scientists, few—like Owen Harding Wangensteen—can claim preeminence in both. His insatiable curiosity, questioning mind, boundless energy, unselfishness, and uncommon human sympathy made him uniquely suited to a career in academic medicine—and specifically, in surgery. As a researcher he made substantial contributions to current knowledge about the causes of appendicitis, clarified problems concerning intestinal obstructions at various levels of the bowel, and provided important insight into the mechanism of peptic ulcer formation and the control of gastric secretion.
Owen Harding Wangensteen was born September 21, 1898, in Lake Park, Minnesota. He attended public schools and received all of his earned degrees from the University of Minnesota: A.B. in 1919, M.D. in 1922, Ph.D. in 1925. His academic competence was recognized early, particularly by Elias Potter Lyon, dean of the Medical School, and by William