Luther Leonidas Hill, MD*

Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill was a pioneer in vascular surgery in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, he received his M.D. degree in 1881 from the University of the City of New York. Dr. Hill went on to acquire a second M.D. degree from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. Dr. Hill studied at King’s College Hospital in London under the famous surgeon, Lord Joseph Lister. Returning to Montgomery, he practiced medicine for over 50 years, including a 35 year tenure as surgeon-in-chief at the Laura Croom Hill Hospital. Dr. Hill was well known for his surgical versatility, but his particular interest was in wounds of the human heart.

In 1902, Dr. Hill was the first American physician to successfully suture a wound in the human heart, and the patient lived. Dr. Hill also proposed the creation of the State Medical Association’s annual Jerome Cochran Memorial Lecture honoring the State Health Officer. In 1959, the Society for Vascular Surgery presented the Luther Leonidas Hill Memorial plaque to Senator Lister Hill, son of Dr. Hill, in honor of his father’s pioneering contributions in cardiovascular surgery.