John R. Russell

1967, San Francisco

John R. Russell was born March 17, 1922 in Bloomington, Indiana. The delivery of five babies that day swamped the medical staff of the town's tiny hospital, so John's father was pressed into service to administer chloroform to his parturient wife. John attended the laboratory high school of the University of Chicago, and there met his fellow editor of the school newspaper, Jane Bureau. Continuing his education at the University of Chicago, John received the degrees of B.S. in 1941, M.S. (in physiology) in 1942, and M.D. in 1945. Dr. Russell and Jane were married in 1943. Their first son was born in 1945. A son was born in 1947 and daughters born in 1953 and 1966 completed the family.

Internship, at Chicago Memorial Hospital, brought John under the spell of a great teacher and neurosurgeon, Dr. Paul C. Bucy. Neurosurgery then became Dr. Russell's quest. He next spent 2 years in military service, assigned to the Dayton, Ohio Veterans Administration Hospital. He first did general and orthopedic surgery. He then spent 1 year on the neurosurgical service organized by Dr. William E. Hunt, under the supervision of Dr. Nathaniel Hollister and Dr. Thomas Weaver. There followed 2 years of neurosurgical residency under Dr. Paul Bucy at Chicago Memorial Hospital with neuropathology tutelage by Dr. Percival Bailey. A final year of residency under Drs. Semmes and Murphey in Memphis was completed in 1951. Dr. Russell then joined Dr. Robert Heimburger on the full-time faculty of Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. They trained the school's present neurosurgical head, Dr. Robert Campbell.

Dr. Russell joined the Congress of Neurological Surgeons shortly after its founding in 1951. Early on he chaired the Survey and Placement committees. Later he served as chairman of the Scientific Program Committee. He was secretary of the Congress from 1962 to 1965, and president from 1966 to 1967. He also served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons from 1967 to 1970.

In 1959, Dr. Russell switched to part-time teaching at Indiana University's Medical School. He went into neurosurgical practice with Dr. Charles Cure. In 1971 he became associated with Dr. Julius Goodman. The practice grew to include eight neurosurgeons by the time Dr. Russell retired in 1984. Dr. Russell and Jane retired to the shores of a beautiful lake in northern Wisconsin, the site of summer vacations since 1949. A minimum of consulting work does not interfere with a physically active life which includes swimming, cross-country skiing, and woodworking.