Franklin H. Martin, MD, FACS, was the founder and managing editor (1905-1935) of the College's journal Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics (SG&O), which is today known as the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS); and was Director-General of the American College of Surgeons (1913-1935). He graduated from the Chicago Medical College, which later became the Northwestern University Medical School in 1880, and served as an intern at Mercy Hospital in Chicago.
One of his first contributions to surgery was the founding of a postgraduate school and charity hospital for continuing education in surgery. His realization of the requirements of surgeons in smaller communities prompted his initiation and development of the Clinical Congresses of Surgeons of North America in 1910. Although several categories of founders are credited with the founding of the American College of Surgeons in 1913 as an outgrowth of the Clinical Congresses, Dr. Martin is clearly credited with being the single person most responsible for its founding because of his great vision and tireless work.
After the outbreak of World War I, he enlisted the services of College Fellows in approaching the Surgeon-General of the US Army to aid in reorganizing and enlarging the Medical Reserve Corps. In 1916, he was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to serve on the National Advisory Commission of civilian leaders as the medical representative.
Roughly sixteen linear feet of as yet unprocessed materials, including Dr. Martin's diaries, medical case books, correspondence, memoirs, and photograph collection comprise the Franklin H. Martin papers record group of the ACS Archives. For more information, contact the ACS Archivist.
ACS Archives Highlights is a series showcasing the vibrant history of the American College of Surgeons, its members, and the history of surgery. For further information on our featured highlights, search the Archives Catalog or contact the ACS Archivist.