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Edward Watson Hook, Jr. papers

Identifier: MS-18

Scope and Contents

The Edward Watson Hook papers reflect his wide-ranging professional activities related to heading the Department of Internal Medicine, participating in the larger Health System/University processes, and pursuing his own research and external activities. The documents detail Hook's direct personal participation in professional organizations and also show the wide range of details he coordinated in running the department of internal medicine. A noteworthy aspect of the collection includes an unpublished History of the Department of Medicine written by Byrd Leavell. Hook read and critiqued the manuscript, but Leavell died before completing the book. Also, Hook conducted a series of interviews with Thomas H. Hunter which complement with the Thomas H. Hunter papers, MS-4, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library.


  • Creation: 1947 - 1998

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Access may be partially restricted to some materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Some use restrictions may apply.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Watson Hook, Jr. was born in Sumter, South Carolina on August 10, 1924. He was the only child of school teacher parents. He obtained a B.S. degree from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and then attended Yale University as a participant in the U.S. Army Specialized Training program. He received an M.D. degree from Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia in 1949. He served his internship at University Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was an assistant resident and chief resident in medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1951 to 1953 he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He taught medicine at Emory University and Johns Hopkins University before becoming the Head of the Division of Infectious Disease at Cornell University Medical College in New York in July 1959. In 1966, Hook was a visiting professor at the University of Bahia School of Medicine in Salvador, Brazil. In 1969 he was appointed Henry B. Mulholland Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia and chaired the department for 21 years. In 1996 Hook was presented with the Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest award given at the University of Virginia. Hook married Jessie Dale Thurecht on June 14, 1949. They had four children, Edward W. III, Susan Dale, Margaret Jane, and Robert Randall. Hook died unexpectedly of a coronary blood clot on October 5, 1998 at the age of 74.

Dr. Hook was involved in a great many organizations and endeavors outside of UVA. He took a leading role in several specialty and subspecialty societies and in organizations concerned with physician education and training. Hook was president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America during 1975-76, was chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was a charter member of the editorial board of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, and was a chair of the board of directors of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program from 1978 to 1988. A former president of the Association of Professors of Medicine, Dr. Hook served on the American Board of Internal Medicine from 1979 to 1987 and chaired its committee on the Evaluation of Clinical Competence.

A fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) since 1962 and its president in 1985, Dr. Hook also served as the College’s governor in Virginia and on its board of regents. He visited the People’s Republic of China in 1979 as a member of the ACP’s first teaching delegation to that country. Hook authored over 130 publications. He received distinction early in his career for his research on the pathogenesis of salmonella and other intestinal infections.

Administration duties of running Internal Medicine took up the bulk of Hook's professional time. During his years as chairman, he built up the department of internal medicine, recruited highly trained division leaders, and initiated several programs that benefited the School of Medicine. In 1969 he founded an international health exchange program with the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil. He also developed and led UVa's hospital ethics committee. He began a primary care residency program in medicine and started a faculty-teaching practice program in Orange County. During the 1970s and 80s, Hook was a national leader in internal-medicine manpower, clinical skills evaluation, and the fostering of humanitarian attributes among physicians. Hook was keenly interested in teaching medical students.

After retiring from the chair of the department in 1990, Hook founded the humanities in medicine program. This program offered talks, concerts, and short courses for medical students. He also helped lead the Medical Center Hour, a weekly conference covering health issues. Hook was also chair of the Arts program which used art work to beautify the hospital.


19.45 Linear Feet


Series Description: This collection is organized into five principal series, as follows: 1.) Professional Organizations & Activities (9 boxes). 2.) Lectures & Presentations (1 box). 3.) History of UVa Department of Medicine, by Byrd S. Leavell (2 boxes). 4.) Office Files, alphabetically arranged (28 boxes). 5.) Photographs & Artifacts (4 boxes).

A sixth series containing mainly photographs and artifacts was added in October 2019. These two boxes are arranged by photographs and then by date. The materials accessioned in November 2019 were added to the sixth series by date. Items in this container were added to the end of Box 46 or filed in earlier boxes as appropriate. Duplicates were discarded.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were acquired from the Program of Humanities in Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Career related memorabilia, including certificates, photographs, plaques and paperweights were donated by Dr. Hook's daughters on March 10, 2016. Additional materials were transferred to Historical Collections by Marcia Childress on November 9, 1019.

Physical Description

22 linear feet containing 43 boxes: 13 cm x 39.5 cm x 26.5 cm, and 1 artifact box: 46 cm x 39.5 cm x 8 cm. Processed materials total 12,305 items. Additional 2 linear feet containing 2 boxes: 13 cm x 39.5 cm x 26.5 cm, and 1 artifact box 40 cm x 32 cm x 27. After the completion of additions processed in 2019, the collection contains 47 boxes.


Processed by:
Susan Swasta and Sara Huyser, Historical Collections Staff

Processing Information

Duplicates found in the additional boxes donated in 2016 and 2019 were not processed into the collection.

A Guide to the Edward Watson Hook, Jr. Papers, 1947-1998
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Repository

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0722 United States