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Henry Mills Hurd

Henry Mills Hurd


Hurd, the first superintendent of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and first professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine, was born in Union City, Michigan. He received his A.B. in 1863 and his M.D. in 1866, both from the University of Michigan. After a brief time in general practice and work in dispensaries in Chicago and New York City, Hurd embarked upon a career in psychiatry and hospital administration.

From 1870 to 1878, he served as assistant physician for the Michigan Asylum for the Insane. From 1878 to 1889, he was medical superintendent of Eastern Michigan Asylum.

Having earned an impressive reputation as a hospital administrator, Hurd was appointed the first superintendent of The Johns Hopkins Hospital shortly after it opened in 1889, and remained there until his retirement in 1911. He also served as the first professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from its opening in 1893 until 1905. He played a significant role in guiding the early development of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Hurd served as secretary to the hospital’s board of trustees from 1911 to 1927. In 1932, the hospital named its main lecture hall Hurd Hall in his honor.

One of Hurd’s greatest contributions was fostering biomedical communication. He served as editor of the American Journal of Insanity from 1897 until 1920, and of Modern Hospital from 1913 to 1920.

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