McGovern, John P. 1921-2007 (John Phillip McGovern)

views updated

McGovern, John P. 1921-2007 (John Phillip McGovern)


See index for CA sketch: Born June 2, 1921, in Washington, DC; died of pneumonia, May 31, 2007, in Galveston, TX. Physician, educator, businessman, philanthropist, and author. A respected allergist and pediatrician, McGovern established a foundation to benefit universities, libraries, and museums. The son of a surgeon, he attended Duke University for his medical studies, earning an M.D. in 1945. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for the next three years and then pursued postdoctoral studies in Paris and London until 1950. Interested in pediatrics, he worked at Children's Hospital in Washington, DC, and then at the George Washington University School of Medicine. While working in the pediatric division of DC General Hospital in the early 1950s, he studied headaches, allergies, asthma, and eczema in children. He was also associate professor of pediatrics and allergy at Tulane University from 1954 to 1956. During this time he came to conclude that diet and environment were important factors in allergy treatment. He established his own allergy clinic in 1956 that was located in Houston, Texas. At the same time, he was chief of allergy services at Texas Children's Hospital from 1957 until 1974, and he was a professor at the University of Texas at Houston. Here he was chair of the department of the history of medicine in the 1970s; McGovern also taught at Baylor University and was chief of the pediatrics department's allergy section there from 1956 to 1978. Enjoying a successful private practice, McGovern invested successfully in real estate. He did so well that he soon amassed a fortune. Taking millions of dollars of his personal wealth, he established the John P. McGovern Foundation, which donates to medical libraries, museums, and universities in Texas. The Foundation also donated 6.5 million dollars to create a new pediatric center at Duke University. McGovern was the author of A Way of Life (1969), and cowrote such books as Allergy and Human Emotions (1967) and Penicillin Allergy: Clinical and Immunological Aspects (1970).



New York Times, June 11, 2007, p. A21.

About this article

McGovern, John P. 1921-2007 (John Phillip McGovern)

Updated About content Print Article Share Article