Howard L. Holley, MD*
Born in Marion, Alabama, in 1914, Dr. Holley was a man of many talents: research scientist, caring physician, and medical historian. Dr. Holley played a major role in the development of Rheumatology as a formal medical subspecialty. Through his leadership, UAB established a Rheumatology program that became recognized throughout the world for its research, teaching, and caring. It was his concept that lead to the multidisciplinary Spain Rehabilitation Center which employs physical therapy, specialized nursing, and social service, all under the direction of a physician.
To Dr. Holley the history of medicine was a passion, and he is considered perhaps the foremost medical historian in Alabama. The author of 34 publications, Dr. Holley published the classic A History of Medicine in Alabama. Perhaps his greatest gift, however, was the ability to teach and to inspire young physicians. At the time of his retirement in 1985, it was estimated that Dr. Holley had taught, at one time or another, half of the physicians in Alabama.