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H. Prather Saunders, MD, FACS

H. Prather Saunders  MD, FACS

Dr. Hubbard Prather Saunders was born in Hickman, KY, and graduated from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1919. He served in the Navy Medical Corps. for four years and was discharged as a commander. Dr. Saunders was on staff of the Ravenswood Hospital in Chicago, where he served as staff president in 1936 and chairman of the tumor clinic from 1937 to 1942. He was also vice president and council member of the Illinois State Medical Society in 1941 and president of the Chicago Medical Society in 1942. He became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in 1934 when he was at Ravenswood, and remained a Fellow for thirty years, half of which he would spend as a member of the College’s staff.

Dr. Saunders joined the ACS staff in 1946 as the Director of the Credentials Division. Starting in 1948, he served as Associate Director for 13 years, consequently also serving on the administrative board. In addition, he was Chair of the Credentials Committee in 1949, in charge of regional and sectional meetings in 1950, oversaw scientific exhibits at the annual Clinical Congress, and was the Secretary of the Motion Pictures Committee.

In the summer of 1960, Dr. Saunders suffered a cerebral vascular accident. Although his recovery was described favorably, he still had trouble with his left hand and foot and was forced to retire at the end of the year. He retired to Gainesville, FL. Dr. Saunders was given the American College of Surgeons highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award in 1961, for his many years of dedicated service to the College.

H. Prather Saunders  MD, FACS


  1. ACS Yearbooks, 1934-1959
  2. Clinical Congress Daily News, 1961
  3. Staff file: Letter from Robert Peyton to James Priestley, 9 August 1960
  4. Staff file: Letter from John Paul North to Lawrence Mann, 3 January 1961
  5. Eleanor Grimm Notebooks, Volume VI, Reel 31, Pgs. 1b, 3d

ACS Archives Highlights is a series showcasing the vibrant history of the American College of Surgeons, its members, and the history of surgery. For further information on our featured highlights, search the Archives Catalog or contact the ACS Archivist.