Edward R. Laws, Jr.
1984, New York
Edward R. Laws was born on April 29, 1938 in New York City, the son of a physician. He left New York in 1955 to attend Princeton University where he received an A.B. with honors in the Special Program in American Civilization. He attended The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (M.D. 1963), doing all of his elective work in the Department of Neurosurgery with studies on the histochemistry and cytochemistry of brain tumors. He stayed on at Hopkins to intern in surgery with Alfred Blalock, and after internship spent 2 years in the United States Public Health Service, assigned to the National Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, and there was responsible for a research program in pesticide toxicology.
In 1966 he returned to The Johns Hopkins for residency training in neurosurgery under Dr. A. Earl Walker and joined the staff of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine in 1971 with initial major responsibility for pediatric neurosurgery. In September of 1972 he left Baltimore to join the staff of the Mayo Clinic and became deeply involved in pituitary surgery and epilepsy surgery, maintaining a research interest in the experimental biology of malignant brain tumors.
He married Peggy in 1962 after they met at The Johns Hopkins where she
was working as an instructor at the school of nursing. They have four daughters
and have worked closely together throughout their respective careers.
Ed became president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in 1984 with the annual meeting in New York City. It was decided to make Walter Dandy a posthumous honored guest and to have Hugo Rizzoli be the honored guest, with Hugo having been one of Dr. Dandy's most prominent residents. The meeting was a great success and it was particularly enjoyable to have it in a city known so well to Ed and Peggy. The highlights included a cocktail party for 2300 people on the aircraft carrier, Independence, and a presidential reception at the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art. At that time the Congress was making a major move to become an international organization and there were many participants from other countries. During the cocktail party on the aircraft carrier, the West Point Glee Club entertained.
Ed became the recipient of an endowed chair at the Mayo Clinic and then became editor of Neurosurgery. He and Peggy have worked together on the journal and she serves as the managing editor using her maiden name, Margaret Anderson.
In 1987 Dr. Laws had the opportunity to succeed Hugo Rizzoli as professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He has worked hard there to build a superb residency training program based on a scientific approach to a wide spectrum of problems in clinical neurosurgery.