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Howard Hanley


1909 - 2001

Summarised from Plarr's "Lives of the Fellows Online"

Howard Hanley was born in Hoylake, on the Wirral, on 27 July 1909. His father, Frederick Thomas Hanley, was engaged in the cotton exchange, his mother Edith (née Hill), was the daughter of a ship owner. He was educated at St Bees School in Cumberland, before going on to Liverpool University, where he graduated in medicine in 1932. He started his surgical training at the Hammersmith Hospital under George Grey Turner, where research was the order of the day, but it was a residency at All Saints' Hospital with Terence Millin that set the course of his career.

In 1939, having gained the FRCS, he was appointed to a full-time post at Hillingdon Hospital (then under Middlesex County Council) and, in the same year, he married Peggy (Margaret Jeffrey). His post at Hillingdon was a "reserved occupation", so he spent the war serving that community and acquiring the skills which made him a rapid and effective operating surgeon. He was appointed to St Paul's Hospital in 1947, but spent two years in the RAMC before taking up his duties. He was the first to see the potential of the X-ray image intensifier in the study of the malfunctioning urinary tract.

He was President of BAUS from 1972 to 1974. He served as Dean of the Institute of Urology and later, when on the Council of the College of Surgeons, as Dean of the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences. His teaching reputation brought many invitations to act as visiting Professor in the USA. He was President of the Section of Urology of the Royal Society of Medicine and toured the country, with Leslie Pyrah, to urge health authorities to set up specialist urology departments. He was Vice-President of the RCS in 1979, and his service to the profession was recognised by the award of the CBE in 1975.

He died on 18 February 2001, at the age of 91.

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