Harvey Williams Cushing

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Cushing, Harvey Williams,

1869–1939, American neurosurgeon, b. Cleveland, B.A. Yale, 1891, M.D. Harvard, 1895. Associated with Johns Hopkins (1896–1912), Harvard (1912–32), and Yale (1933–37), he was noted for his great contributions to brain surgery and also as a teacher and an author. For his life of Sir William OslerOsler, Sir William
, 1849–1919, Canadian physician, M.D. McGill Univ., 1872. Renowned as a physician and as a medical historian, he was also the most brilliant and influential teacher of medicine in his day. He was professor at McGill (1875–84), the Univ.
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 he won the 1925 Pulitzer Prize in Biography. Among his other works are a famous treatise on the pituitary body, as well as Tumors of the Nervus Acusticus (1917), Intracranial Tumours (1932), and the autobiographical From a Surgeon's Journal, 1915–1918 (1936).


See biographies by J. F. Fulton (1946), E. H. Thomson (1950), and M. Bliss (2005).

Cushing's disease was first described by him. It is a disorder attributed to hyperactivity of the cortex of the adrenal glands and affects women more than men. The symptoms include obesity (moonface, an accumulation of fat at the back of the neck called buffalo hump, and abdominal protrusion), hypertension, hirsutism, and easy bruisability. Treatment is by X-ray therapy if the pituitary body is involved or by surgical removal of one or both adrenal glands.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cushing, Harvey Williams


Born Apr. 8, 1869, in Cleveland; died Oct. 7, 1939, in New Haven. American neurosurgeon, member of the National Academy of Sciences (1914) and the New York Medical Academy (1926).

Cushing received his medical education at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. In 1912 he became a professor there. In 1933 he became a professor of neurology at Yale University in New Haven. His principal works deal with the most important problems of brain surgery and are closely related to physiological investigation: study of the hypophysis, intracranial pressure, meningeal tumors, and electrosurgery of the brain. Cushing proved that the elevation of intracranial fluid pressure leads to the compensatory elevation of vascular pressure (Cushing’s law). He developed a number of neurosurgical methods, including temporal decompression (1905) and a procedure for access to the posterior cranial fossa. He described basophilic adenoma of the pituitary (Cushing’s disease). He was president of a number of American scientific societies and an honorary member of many foreign scientific societies.


Intracranial Tumors. Baltimore, 1932.
Meningiomas, parts 1–2. New York, 1962.


“G. V. Kushing.” Voprosy neirokhirurgii, 1940, vol. 4, nos. 1–2.
Fulton, J. F. Harvey Cushing, a Biography. Springfield (Illinois), 1946.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1.) Remarks of Harvey Cushing. In Dedication of the Henry Barton Jacobs Room.
Santiago Ramon y cajal and Harvey Cushing: two forefathers of neuroscience and neurosurgery.
The American surgeon, Harvey Cushing, witnessed a demonstration of the Riva-Rocci cuff in Italy and bought one back to the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore (4).
No one seemed to doubt, including the physicians and lay reformers, that the subsidizing of medical research and facilities would lead to better medical care.(39) Roosevelt's willingness to consider other options cannot be ascribed to the influence of Harvey Cushing. However, Cushing is to some extent responsible for Witte's growing fear that national health insurance would undermine the entire Social Security Act.
Pulitzer prizes were awarded for the following: fiction, Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis; biography, The Life of Sir William Osler by Harvey Cushing; history, The History of the United States by Edward Channing; poetry, What's O'Clock by Amy Lowell; drama, Craig's Wife by George Kelly.
Thomas Wolfe's demise from tuberculosis, Flannery O'Connor's battle against lupus, Wilder Penfield's fight to save his sister from a malignant brain tumor, Harvey Cushing's crusade against acromegaly) and fictional ones (all of whom are based on actual patients and clinical events).
It is often said that Harvey Cushing of Boston was the father of neurosurgery; well, Cushing was still at school while Horsley, a rapid and extremely skilful surgeon, was developing many of these procedures!
The next reference to such monitoring is by the renowned surgeon, Harvey Cushing, who wrote "We have, of late, in all our cerebral operations followed the custom of having the etherizer constantly auscultate the heart.
Harvey Cushing, the world renown endocrinologist from Harvard Medical School who used his family ties to FDR with good effect.
The modern pneumatic tourniquet was introduced by Harvey Cushing in the early 20th century (Cushing 1904).