175 Makers of History: J. Willis Hurst

J. Willis Hurst
30-year Chair of the Department of Medicine; Author of The Heart

Willis Hurst

J. Willis Hurst obtained his MD from the Medical College of Georgia in 1944, then trained at Massachusetts General Hospital with the "father of modern cardiology," Paul Dudley White. In 1949, he returned to Atlanta, where he entered private practice as one of the few cardiologists in the city.

In 1950, Hurst joined the Emory cardiology faculty and was appointed chair of medicine at thirty-six, a position he served in for thirty years.

He was the author of the standard text on cardiology, The Heart, now in its thirteenth edition and called Hurst’s The Heart. Hurst continued to be an active teacher well into his eighties, conducting cardiology morning report at Emory University Hospital, teaching electrocardiography to the house, and giving clinical conferences at Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Hospital. The Department of Medicine Residency Program was named in his honor.