• Passing Of Founder of American Journal of Sports Medicine

    Bruce Reider MD and Kurt E. Jacobson MD

    from AJSM December 2004, Volume 32, Issue 8.

    Jack C. Hughston, MD, orthopaedist, founder of the Hughston Clinic, and one of the pioneers in the field of sports medicine, died September 6, 2004, at his home in Columbus, Georgia, after a 3-year battle with cancer.

    Hughston, 87, was born in Florence, Alabama, April 17, 1917, to Talmadge and Madeline Hughston, but Columbus, Georgia, was his home from the time he was 7 years old. He attended Columbus High School and Riverside Military Academy. He graduated from Auburn University in 1938 and received his MD degree from Louisiana State University in 1943. After an internship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Dr Hughston served in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1944 to 1946. In 1946, he went to Duke University School of Medicine. He held a National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis Fellowship in the Duke Orthopaedic Training Program and worked for 2 years at the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in Greenville, South Carolina. On June 13, 1942, the then–medical school student married Sarah Hardaway. They returned to Columbus to open his medical practice. Dr Hughston established the Hughston Clinic in 1949 and became one of the most respected practitioners of orthopaedics and sports medicine in the country.

    Jack Hughston’s involvement with college athletics began in 1952 at Auburn University. When the late Ralph “Shug” Jordan became football coach, Dr Hughston convinced him that the football team needed orthopaedists and that those orthopaedists needed to be on the sidelines so they could observe injuries as they occurred. Thus, Dr Hughston became one of the first team physicians, a pioneer role in athletics. In 1965 he became chairman of the Sports Medicine Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He served in that capacity from 1965 through 1975.

    In 1976, he was named “Mr Sports Medicine” by 350 of his colleagues and in 1977 was cited in Sports Illustrated as one of the world’s top 3 surgeons in his field. He was one of the founders of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the International Society of the Knee, serving as president in 1983–1984, and was an honorary founder of the National Athletic Trainers Association.

    He and others saw a need for and started The American Journal of Sports Medicine , of which he was editor from 1972 through 1989. The journal became one of his greatest passions. He recognized the tremendous opportunity to bring together a vast amount of knowledge in orthopaedic sports medicine and create the premier forum for new advancements in the field. His love for the journal and all it stands for has been ably carried on by his successors. The growth of the journal with its promising future ensures a continuing legacy of his pioneering efforts.

    Jack Hughston’s role in sports medicine was seminal in countless ways. He either created or nurtured the advancement of many practices and institutions that we take for granted today. He embraced the role of team physician, feeling strongly that an orthopaedic surgeon could never truly understand the demands placed on his patients unless he spent time in the trenches with them. He was never happier than when he strode the sidelines with his beloved Auburn Tigers.

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