Jonathan E. Rhoads Papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center [Contact Us]3401 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
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Jonathan Evans Rhoads was born on May 9, 1907 in a Philadelphia Quaker family that had a traditional interest in medicine. His father, Edward G. Rhoads, and his granduncle James were both physicians. Edward graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1885 and became chief resident at the Pennsylvania Hospital after serving internship first at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. He later had his own practice, working in a broad range of fields from obstetrics, pediatrics, sections of internal medicine such as infectious disease, heart and lung diseases, allergy, rheumatology to neurology and psychiatry.
Jonathan E. Rhoads was the last of the five children born to Edward G. and Margaret (Ely) Paxon Rhoads. After studying at the Germantown Friends School for eight years, Jonathan went to the Westtown School that both his parents had attended. He entered Haverford College in 1924 and graduated with B.A. in 1928. He then went on to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he received his M.D. in 1932. His future wife Teresa Folin graduated from the same school in the same year. They married in 1936.
Jonathan Rhoads had his internship and residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1932 to 1939 and thus started his long and fruitful career at Penn. For his internship, Rhoads worked under Dr. I. S. Ravdin while in the same time accepting assignments from Charles Frazier, Chairman of the department of surgery of the Penn Medical School. Rhoads became Associate in Surgery in 1939. When Ravdin left to work in a field hospital during World War II in 1942, Jonathan became acting chief of Surgical Service B at the University Hospital. In addition to his clinical duties, Rhoads continued his research interest in medicine. He received Doctor of Science degree from Penn in 1940 and served as acting director of the Harrison Department of Surgical Research at Penn Medical School from 1944 to 1945. Rhoads was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery by the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine in 1945 and by the University School of Medicine the following year. Also in 1946, he was appointed chief of Surgical Division II at the University Hospital. He was promoted as Associate Professor of Surgery in 1947, J. William White Professor of Surgical Research in 1949 and Professor of Surgery and Surgical Research in 1951. Rhoads was one of the first to use antibiotics for surgical problems, to use vitamin K to stop bleeding and coumadin to stop clotting. Over time he became a pioneer surgical nutritionist, best known for his contribution to the landmark development of hyperalimentation in surgery, and an expert in surgical treatment of cancer.
Rhoads was elected chairman of the Penn Faculty Senate in 1954 for a two-year term. In 1956, at the nomination of Gaylord P. Harnwell, president of the University of Pennsylvania, Rhoads was appointed Provost of the University, a position he held until 1959. After stepping down from the provostship, Rhoads returned to the Medical School and was appointed John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery and chairman of the department of surgery, chairman of the department of surgery of the University Hospital, as well as director of the Harrison Department of Surgical Research of the medical school. He held all these positions until he retired in 1972.
Busy as he was with his numerous responsibilities at Penn, especially with its Medical School and hospital, Rhoads still had time and energy for interests and commitments that went far beyond the Penn community and the medical profession. He held important positions in other hospitals of the area, serving as consultant surgeon to the Pennsylvania Hospital beginning in 1939, consultant in surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and consultant to the Department of Surgery of the Germantown Hospital and Medical Center from 1958 on. In addition, Rhoads was actively involved in research, publishing and administrative work of a large number of professional and civic organizations of regional, national or international status as well as service for the United States government agencies.
He held leadership positions at dozens of prestigious institutions in the field of medicine and medical sciences, among them the American College of Surgeons (president, 1971-1972), the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Medical Association, the American Physiological Society, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, the American Surgical Association (president, 1972-1973), the American Trauma Society (founding member, chairman of the Board of Directors, 1986-1994), the Association of American Medical Colleges (Chairman, 1968-1969), College of Physicians of Philadelphia (president, 1958-1960, snf member of multiple committees from 1952 to 1990), Institute of Medicine (senior member), International Federation of Surgical Colleges (president, 1978-1981), John Morgan Society, Pennsylvania Medical Society (chairman, 1996), Philadelphia Academy of Surgery (president, 1964-1966), Philadelphia County Medical Society (president, 1970) and Ravdin-Rhoads Surgical Society. Rhoads' long-time and dedicated service left invaluable legacies at ASPEN, ATS, CPP and IFSC in particular.
Rhoads was also on the editorial boards of six medical and surgical periodicals, among them the Annals of Surgery, Cancer, Journal of Surgical Research and the Journal of Clinical Surgery. He served on the editorial board of the Annals of Surgery from 1947 to 1977 and as its chairman from 1971 to 1973. Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society, had Rhoads as its editor-in-chief from 1972 to 1991. He was a member of the American Medical Writers Association.
The record of Rhoads' government service includes his work at the National Research Council, the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the United States Public Health, and the Veterans Administration. At the National Research Council, he represented the American Surgical Association from 1950 to 1962, served on the Executive Committee of the Division of Medical Sciences under the Council from 1961 to 1965, worked on the U.S. National Cancer Committee for the International Union Against Cancer in the late 1980s and was a member of a number of the Council's other Committees including the Committee on Trauma, Committee on Shock and Medical Fellowship Board. At the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Rhoads was chairman of the Surgical Drugs Advisory Committee under the Food and Drug Administration from 1971 to 1974. He was a member of the U.S. Senate Panel of Consultants on the Conquest of Cancer in 1970 and a member of the Selections Committee of the Veterans Administration from 1964 to 1970. In 1972 he was appointed by President Nixon to the National Cancer Advisory Board for a six-year term.
Outside the fields of medicine and surgery, Rhoads was committed to the administration of a multitude of civic organizations engaged in educational, scientific, religious, or general public services. Senior member of the American Philosophical Society, he served as the Society's president from 1976 to 1984. Other institutions where he served as board member or assumed other administrative responsibilities include American Friends Service Committee, Bryn Mawr College, Buckingham Mountain Foundation, Friends Hospital, Germantown Friends School, Haverford College, Benjamin and Mary Siddons Measey Foundation, Pennwalt Corporation, Philadelphia Public Health Advisory Commission, Philadelphia School District, Philadelphia Traffic Court Committee, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, and Westtown School. Through his wise counseling and active participation, Rhoads made great contribution to the growth and development of these civic organizations.
Rhoads' close affinity with the Friends Hospital, Germantown Friends School, Westtown School, Haverford College, American Friends Service Committee and the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends stemmed to a significant degree from his Quaker family background. His parents had strongly supported the relief work by the A.F.S.C. in France and Russia after World War I; his sister Esther Biddle spent over 25 years doing missionary work in Japan. After she was expatriated to America during World War II, she worked for the A.F.S.C. to relocate interned Japanese-Americans in California. When the war ended, she was one of the first to return to Japan to help with the restoration of school education in the war-ruined country. Jonathan himself accepted an invitation from the A.F.S.C. to visit South Korea during the Korean War to select a site for directed medical care for the local population. In 1969, he joined in another A.F.S.C. project for a three-week trip to Vietnam to help rehabilitate the civilian casualties there. Due to his keen interest in missionary work abroad, Rhoads gave generous support in his late years to a research project on the history of a missinoary medical school in Shanghai, China, the former dean of which he knew personally.
His outstanding achievement in medicine, dedication to the promotion of education and science and enthusiastic support of general public services were widely acclaimed and were recognized by numerous awards and honors showered upon him. Rhoads received from the American Cancer Society an award for distinguished service to cancer control in 1957, the Strittmatter Award from the Philadelphia County Medical Society in 1968, the Joseph Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition from the American Medical Association in 1970, the American Cancer Society National Award in 1973, a distinguished service award of the Pennsylvania Medical Society in 1975, the Papanicolaou Award for Distinguished Service in 1977, a distinguished service award of the American Surgical Association in 1979, a distinguished service award from the American Trauma Society in 1979, 1988 and 1992, the Rodman E. and Thomas G. Sheen Award for scientific accomplishment from the American Medical Association in 1980, and the Surgeon General's Medallion in 1987. In 1976, the City of Philadelphia honored its distinguished native citizen with the Philadelphia Award.
Rhoads was member or fellow of dozens of honor societies and academies, among them the Alpha Omega Alpha, Halsted Society, James Ewing Society, James IV Association of Surgeons, Phi Beta Kappa Associates, Philomathean Society, Polish Association of Surgeons, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Royal College of Surgeons of England, H. William Scott, Jr. Society, Society of Sigma XI, and Sphinx Senior Society. He received honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (LL.D., 1960 and M.A. in 1971), Haverford College (D. Sc., 1962), Swarthmore College (D. Sc., 1969), the Medical College of Pennsylvania (D. Med. Sc., 1974), Hahneman Medical College (D. Sc., 1978), Thomas Jefferson University (D. Litt., 1979), Duke University (D. Sc., 1979), Georgetown University School of Medicine (D. Med. Sc., 1981), Medical College of Ohio at Toledo (D. Sc., 1985), and Yale University (D. Med. Sc., 1990).
He was invited by over forty institutions as visiting professor and authored or co-authored over 300 articles in journals or book chapters.
A biographical sketch of Jonathan Rhoads will be incomplete without mentioning his two special talents that are less well-known to the public. He had an extraordinary gift of expression and was in great demand as a speaker. His numerous addresses and presentations always flow in an easy, simple and fluent style and are enlivened by fine touches of an urbane and subtle humor. Another special trait of his character was his shrewd business acuman. He was a successful investor and warmly welcomed by many institutions to their boards or committees for sound financial counselling.
In terms of business interest, his daughter Margaret Rhoads Kendon is well to the point when she commented to his biographers that like early Quakers, Rhoads urged people to earn money "as much as you honestly can." He was "not big on lots of government regulations" and "very very opposed to the idea of socialized medicine." Understandably, he had "a republican slant," was "pro business" and more interested in "getting things ahead" than the "welfare of the lowest group of people."
Jonathan had six children with Teresa Rhoads. He was widowed in 1987 and remarried Katharine Evans Goddard in 1990. Rhoads died in January 2002 and Katharine followed two years later.
This massive collection documents the life and work of Jonathan Evans Rhoads in multiple dimensions and through all major periods of his 94 long years of career.
The first series represents his personal and family experiences. It consists of five sub-series including his personal and biographical material; correspondence and other records related to his family members; files of his social interest and participation in activities not directly related to his professional interest; traveling material; as well as his financial records [which are closed]. This sub-series also includes a group of 39 audio cassettes of interviews done in the preparation of a biography of Rhoads that continued from 1992 to 1996.
The second series documents all aspects of Rhoads' professional activities as a surgeon, medical faculty and a senior university administrator. The bulk of the correspondence sub-series reflects his communication with hundreds of individuals or institutions on all kinds of subjects of mutual professional interests. Among his correspondents are Clyde Barker, Baruch Blumberg, Britton Chance, David Y. Cooper, Stanley J. Dudrick, Loren C. Eiseley, Claire Fagin, William T. Fitts, Jr., Gaylord P. Harnwell, C. Everett Koop, Leonard D. Miller, Francis D. Moore, I.S. Ravdin, Louis Silverstein, and the United States House of Representatives and Senate. Included in this sub-series is also a litigation file related to a case between a chordoma patient and physicians of the surgical department of the University Hospital.
The sub-series of Administrative files comprises mainly correspondence and other files in relation to his leadership for the Department of Surgery, the University Hospital, the Medical Board, the Harrison Department of Surgical Research, the Penn School of Medicine and the general administration of the University. Also included are files from 1938 to 1979 that reflect the significant amount of work Rhoads did at the Pennsylvania Hospital.
The Teaching files include instructional schedules, course syllabus and lecture notes for various classes and programs in which Rhoads participated as a senior faculty. The Research files include records of two major research projects sponsored by the National Research Councilthe Adhesions study and the Burns projectas well as relevant reference material. This sub-series also includes some correspondence between Rhoads and his patients, his operating notes, and other patient records.
The Professional meetings sub-series documents meetings sponsored by various institutions which Rhoads attended. Also included in this sub-series are records of his being invited as visiting professor to lecture to medical schools across the continent of North America.
The Addresses, manuscripts and publishing files consist of material of five different categories of presentations and publications. There are hundreds of addresses and presentations Rhoads was invited to make on all kinds of subjects or occasions; remarks he made at over a dozen memorial services in honor of his deceased friends and colleagues; manuscripts, finished or unfinished, as well as draft outlines and notes on various topics; correspondence related to publishing matters; and finally, reprints of some 400 published articles.
Rhoads' leadership and participation in all major medical and other professional institutions of national and international reputations is best represented in the sub-series IIG, the files of Professional Organizations. Substantially represented in this sub-series are files of such leading organizations of medicine and medical sciences as American Association for Cancer Research (38 folders), American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (42), American Cancer Society (320), American College of Surgeons (360), American Medical Association (44), American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (78), American Surgical Association (143), American Trauma Society (168), Annals of Surgery (139), Association of American Medical Colleges (88), Cancer journal (137), College of Physicians of Philadelphia (140), General Motors Cancer Research Foundation (119), Institute of Medicine (43), International Federation of Surgical Colleges (377), International Society of Surgery (52), International Surgical Group (45), National Cancer Advisory Board (182), National Cancer Institute (34), National Institute of General Medial Sciences (45), National Institutes of health (38), National Research Council (264), Pennsylvania Medical Society (46), Philadelphia County Medical Society (102), Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (47), Society of Clinical Surgery (53), Society of University Surgeons (70), Southern Surgical Association (38), and the United States Senate Panel on the Conquest of Cancer (30).
Also represented in this sub-series are the following major professional organizations: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Board of Surgery, American College of Physicians, American College of Radiology, American Physiological Society, American Society for Clinical Nutrition, American Society of Nutritional Support Services, Association for Academic Surgery, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Children Hospital of Philadelphia, Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Council of Medical Specialty Society, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Halsted Society, Health Systems Agency for Southeastern Pennsylvania Steering Committee, International Cancer Congress, International Congress of Nutrition, International Union Against Cancer, James Ewing Society, James IV Association of Surgeons, John Morgan Society, John Rhea Barton Surgical Research Foundation, John Scott Award Advisory Committee, Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, Life Insurance Medical Research Fund, Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, National Academy of Sciences, National Library of Medicine, Pan-Pacific Surgical Association, Papanicolaou Cancer Research Institute, Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia Professional Standard Review Organization, Ravdin-Rhoads Surgical Society, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Society of Surgical Oncology, Surgeons Travel Club, Surgical Infection Society, Surgical Travel Club, U.S. National Committee for the International Union Against Cancer, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, United States Public Health Service, Veterans Administration, Wistar Association, Working Group on Disability in U.S. Presidents, World Health Organization, etc.
Rhoads' extra-curricula interest is fully documented in Series III of Civic Organizations. Main entries in this sub-series are files of the following institutions: American Friends Service Committee (19 folders), American Philosophical Society (374), Bryn Mawr College (68), Buckingham Mountain Foundation (96), Cosmos Club (23), Friends Hospital (130), Germantown Friends School (104), Haverford College (242), Benjamin and Mary Siddons Measey Foundation (148), Pennwalt Corporation (21), Philadelphia Public Health Advisory Commission (16), Philadelphia School District (73), Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (65), Westtown School (65). Also to be found in this sub-series are files of John Scott Award Advisory Committee, Thomas B. and Jeannette E. Laws McCabe Fund, and Philadelphia Traffic Court Committee.
The fourth series consists of awards and cirtificates of recognition given to Rhoads in appreciation of his distinguished services in various fields.
Series V comprises photographs, including both Rhoads' portraits and group pictures taken at professional meetings or other social functions; audio-visual tapes; issues of ISIS journal and other memorabilia items Rhoads collected.
Series VI consists of a large number of architectural drawings of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania prepared in the period of 1968-1973.
Series VII are papers of Theresa Rhoads, mostly her correspondence and research files when she was working at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the 1930s and 1940s.
For records of Provost Office when Jonathan E. Rhoads served as University Provost from 1956 to 1959, see the collection of UPA6.4.
Papers of Esther B. Rhoads (1896-1979) and papers of James E. Rhoads (1828-1895) can be found in the Quaker Collection of the Haverford College Library.
I. PERSONAL, 1802-2001
A. Biographical, correspondence, etc., 1940-2001
B. Family, 1802-2000
C. Social, 1948-2000
D. Traveling, 1964-1997
E. Financial [CLOSED], 1951-2001
II. PROFESSIONAL, 1880-2002
A. Correspondence, 1916-2002
1. General, arranged chronologically or alphabetically, 1940-2001
2. By name and subject, 1916-2002
B. Administrative files, 1924-2000
C. Teaching files, 1942-2000
D. Research files, 1922-2001
E. Meetings, 1948-1998
F. Addresses, manuscripts and publishing files, 1929-2001
1. Addresses and lectures, 1944-2000
2. Memorial remarks, 1971-1999
3. Manuscripts and notes, 1934-2001
4. Publishing, 1929-2000
5. Reprints, 1935-2000
II. PROFESSIONAL (cont.)
G. Professional (medical and medical sciences) organizations, 1880-2001
III. CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS, 1884-2001
IV. AWARDS, GIFTS, ETC., 1971-1998
V. PHOTOGRAPHS, AUDIO-VISUAL TAPES, BOOKS AND MEMORABILIA, 1969-2002
VI. ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS, 1968-1973
VII. THERESA RHOADS PAPERS, 1932-1987
The Jonathan E. Rhoads papers were donated to the University Archives in 2002.
- Medicine--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- Surgery--Nutritional aspects--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
- University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center
- Finding Aid Author
- Kaiyi Chen
- Finding Aid Date
- April 2005