8. Dr. D.J. McCune


McCune-Albright Syndrome ( MAS ) / Albright-McCune-Sternberg syndrome




A Short Biography of Dr. Donovan James McCune
(Physician, Latin Scholar, Bibliophile, Bookbinder, Printer)

Compiled by Kenneth F. Innes III (May 2007)



Personal Information


Dr. McCune Donovan James McCune was born on June 24, 1902 at Bellefontaine, OH. He was the son of Christopher James McCune (1868-1955) and Laura Miller McCune. He married Mary Adams, M.D. on October 14, 1932 but the marriage had ended by 1951. His death took place in Vallejo, CA on April 11, 1976.

Height: 5’6”
Weight: 155 lbs.
Hair: Brown.
Eyes: Gray.
Religion: Roman Catholic
Languages: Fluent in Spanish, German, Latin, classical Greek and he had a visual familiarity with French. 


Education

He graduated in 1920 from St. Rose High School (Lima, OH) and then attended the University of Dayton (Dayton, OH) from 1920-21. Donovan McCune graduated with his A.B. degree in 1924 from Georgetown College (Washington, DC) and obtained his M.D. degree in 1928 from Johns Hopkins Medical School (Baltimore, MD).

Dr. McCune once wrote: “Georgetown has meant many things to me: I shall name only two: a durable interest in public speaking, and a devotion to the Latin language and literature. These still constitute my most absorbing avocation, not only supplying intellectual recreation, but also providing focus for book collecting, fine printing, and bookbinding.”


Medical Practice


Dr. McCune Dr. McCune interned at the Willard Parker Hospital (NY, NY) in 1928 for two months and then went to the Harriet Lane Home[1] at Johns Hopkins Hospital (1928-29). He became resident physician in Pediatrics and Contagious Disease at Cincinnati General Hospital in Ohio (1929-30) before taking the position of resident physician at Babies Hospital, New York City[2] (1930-1934)[3]. In 1933, he became a member of the attending staff at Babies Hospital and attending physician there from 1942-51. He was its Director of Chemical Laboratory during the same period. Dr. McCune also was Chief of Clinic at the Vanderbilt Clinic, NY (1933-42)

He was a consultant in pediatrics at Greenwich Hospital (1943), Greenwich, CT; Holy Name Hospital (1946-52), Teaneck, NJ; and Stamford Hospital (1947-52), Stamford, CT.



Dr. McCune



After approximately twenty years in the academic/teaching field, he decided to again become more involved in an active pediatric practice. In 1951, Dr. McCune began to work as a physician for Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Vallejo, CA. He held the position of Chief of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief from 1953-1965. In 1965, he was appointed to serve as the staff assistant to Cecil Cutting, M.D., Executive Director of the Permanente Medical Group in Oakland, CA. Dr. McCune also became a consultant in pediatrics for the U.S. Naval Hospital Mare Island (1957-58) and David Grant Hospital, Travis Air Force Base (1966-68).

Dr. McCune was internationally known and some have called him one of the “fathers of American pediatrics.” He was involved in two international medical missions: 1) 1946 Unitarian-UNRRA Medical Mission to Poland, and 2) 1948 Unitarian Service Committee Medical Mission to Columbia.[4]



Medical Teaching


Dr. McCune was Associate in Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University 1931-37. He then held the positions of Assistant Professor (1937-1942), Associate Professor (1942-44), Professor in 1944, and Member of the Faculty of Medicine at Columbia University (1945-51).

KP Reporter June 1963 (Dr McCune with nurse) 

The McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS) is a genetic endocrine disease affecting the bones and pigmentation of the skin. It was described independently by both Dr. Donovan J. McCune and Dr. Fuller Albright in 1937.

Dr. McCune also wrote over thirty articles for medical publications and contributed to the Childcraft Encyclopedia (1946 and 1954) and Encyclopedia Americana (1955). In addition, he coauthored M.B. Howorth’s Textbook of Orthopedics (1952)


Awards, Clubs and Societies


In 1924, he was the Hamilton Debate winner. This was given to the best extemporaneous speaker in the annual debate put on by the Philodemic Society of Georgetown. While at Johns Hopkins, he was a member of the Pithotomy Club. The Club’s constitution stated its objective-“the promotion of vice among the virtuous, virtue among the vicious, and good fellowship among all.” While living in New York, he was a member of the Harvey Society, whose stated purpose was to establish a closer relationship between the purely practical side of medicine and the results of laboratory investigation. It set up a series of lectures on the life sciences.


Public Service


Dr. McCune Dr. McCune joined the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce in 1957 and became the Chairman of its Committee on Public Relations for 1959-60. He was also was a member of the Board of Directors, Solano County Legal Aid Society starting in 1960. As such, he became a member, Solano County Council of Economic Opportunity, representing the Solano County Legal Aid Society in 1965.

In 1961, Dr. McCune became a member of the Vallejo Public Library Board. In 1966, he was reappointed to another five year term. In 1968, he joined the California Library Association. He was a leader in the fund-raising efforts for a new library in Vallejo. The John F. Kennedy Library’s ground breaking took place on September 4, 1968, which was commemorated by Dr. McCune in a broadsheet printed by him on his own hand press.




















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