James M. Whittico Oral History


James M. Whittico



Interview Date


Biographical History

James M. Whittico, Jr. was the first African-American physician to serve on the St. Louis Board of Health and Hospitals as well as Missouri's first African American to become a military hospital chief surgeon in active combat during World War II. He served as commanding officer and chief surgeon of the 93rd Infantry Division hospital and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He received several military awards, including the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Combat Service Ribbon.

He received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and completed a surgical residency at Homer G. Phillips Hospital, followed by a surgical fellowship at Washington University. Whittico saw patients in his private practice for 65 years, until he retired at age 99.

In addition his position at SLU, Whittico was a clinical instructor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and served six St. Louis hospitals as chief of staff or chief of surgery.


Access to this oral history transcript is restricted. Contact the archivists at Becker Library arb@wusm.wustl.edu for terms of access.


Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project


Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives


Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri



Link to Published Version

Published Version