Dr. Edward Martin was a contemporary of Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS, founder of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), who had his own distinguished career with an impressive list of accomplishments. Sometimes known as “the other Dr. Martin,” he was President of the Clinical Congress of Surgeons of North America, when that body was involved in the founding of the College in 1912.
Born in Philadelphia, Dr, Martin was educated at Swarthmore College, to which he maintained a great loyalty as a donor and board member throughout his career. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1883. He pioneered a number of surgical innovations in his specialty of genito-urinary surgery. He was elected clinical professor of surgery at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1902, professor of clinical surgery at the University of Pennsylvania 1903-1910, and the John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery at Penn from 1911-1918. He occupied positions as chief surgeon or consulting surgeon at most of the major hospitals in Philadelphia. He was a member of the first ACS Board of Regents.
His military career was likewise distinguished, serving in the Spanish-American War as a regimental and brigade surgeon, and as a colonel in the medical corps in World War I. From 1918 - 1923 he was commissioner of health in Pennsylvania, where Dr. Martin instituted major improvements in standards of public health. As one of his avocations he carried out experiments in heavier than air flight in the early years of the twentieth century.