David Goldring



Interview Date


Biographical History

Born near Odessa, Russia, David Goldring (1914-1992) came to the United States at the age of 9 with his family. He earned his B.A in 1936, and his M.D. in 1940 at Washington University in St. Louis. He interned at St. Louis City Hospital and had three years of residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children's Hospital before going on active duty into the U.S. Army in 1944.

Goldring returned to Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1949 as instructor in pediatrics and full time staff at Children's Hospital. David Goldring founded the St. Louis Children's Hospital cardiology division in 1950 and directed the department until his retirement in 1985. He briefly served as the hospital's acting physician-in-chief for three years from 1964-1967.

Goldring was also an educator at Washington University School of Medicine in its department of pediatrics and was head of that department from 1950-1981. Due to his legacy, St. Louis Children's Hospital named its Division of Pediatric Cardiology in his honor.


An interview of the Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project, conducted by Edwin W. McCleskey and associates, 1990. Approximate Length: 19 minutes.

David Goldring relates stories he heard and his own experience with the admission of Black children to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

He begins with stories he heard about the attitudes of chiefs of pediatrics, hospital administrators, and hospital board toward the admission of Black children to Children’s Hospital. Goldring discusses John Howland, who was the first chief of pediatrics at the hospital, and how Howland left after six months because the hospital board was opposed to the admission of Black children. This situation changed when St. Louis Children's Hospital opened the Butler Ward, a segregated ward for Black children in 1923.

Goldring then relates a story from his time as a resident in 1941-1944. He says that one night, a Black child needed an incubator and there were none available in the Butler ward, so Goldring admitted him to the infant ward. An administrator called the chief of pediatrics, Alexis Hartmann Sr., to report it, but Hartmann let the admission stand. Goldring next briefly discusses the integration of the staff of Children's Hospital.

He relates the role of Park J. White played in training Black interns and residents at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Goldring later discusses the differences between working at Children’s Hospital and Homer Phillips, and the closure of Homer Phillips.


Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project


Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives


Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri

PC054-S04-B01-F08-i02_David_Goldring_oral_history_audio_recording.mp3 (17472 kB)
David Goldring Oral History Audio