Saturday, March 15, 2003

Dr. Noble Owen Fowler, cardiologist, researcher

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Noble Owen Fowler, a cardiologist, author and University of Cincinnati professor, died March 8 at his Hyde Park home. He was 83.

Dr. Robert J. Adolph, a friend and colleague, wrote this of Dr. Fowler in a profile in Clinical Cardiology in 1998:

"He is a master internist, superb clinical cardiologist, respected teacher, prolific writer of unusual clarity, established investigator, experienced administrator, and a gentleman," Dr. Adolph wrote. "Three qualities stand out but do not appear in Dr. Fowler's curriculum vitae: intellectual honesty, integrity and rare wisdom in patient management."

He was born in 1919 in Vicksburg, Miss., and grew up in Memphis, Tenn. He earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Medical College in 1941.

While working at the hospital in Middlesboro, Tenn., in 1942, he met and married Charlotte Ruth Walters of Harlan, Ky.

His postgraduate training in medicine was at Cincinnati General Hospital and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.

In 1943-44, he served as a captain in the Army Medical Corps at Marfa (Texas) Army Air Field, a site for training Army Air Corps pilots.

In 1947, he came to Cincinnati General as senior assistant medical resident before serving as chief medical resident. He was a fellow in cardiology (1948-52), where he honed his skills in clinical cardiology and served as a research fellow of the American Heart Association.

He became an assistant professor of medicine at both UC (1951-52) and the State University of New York in Brooklyn (1952-54). He was the Georgia State Heart Association Chair of Cardiovascular Research at Emory University in Atlanta from 1955 to 1957.

Returning to Cincinnati in 1957, Dr. Fowler first served as chief of the medical service at Cincinnati Veterans Hospital. In 1964, he became a professor of medicine at UC's College of Medicine, and from 1970 to 1986, he was the director of the Division of Cardiology at the College of Medicine as well as University Hospital.

He became emeritus professor of medicine and pharmacology and cell biophysics in 1986 and continued to work until 1999 when he retired.

A prolific researcher and writer in the cardiology field, Dr. Fowler wrote eight textbooks, more than 50 textbook chapters and more than 100 scientific papers. He was on the editorial boards of eight medical journals, received numerous National Institutes of Health grants and received one of the first $1 million research grants to UC.

In 1984, the Cincinnati Coalition of Persons with Disabilities named him the Greater Cincinnati Researcher of the Year for his work on disabling medical disorders. In 1994, he received the Laennec Society Special Recognition Award given by the Council on Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association.

He served as elder at the Presbyterian Church in Merrick, N.Y., and at Knox Presbyterian Church, Hyde Park.

In addition to his wife of 60 years, survivors include two daughters, JoAnn Bassett of Vero Beach, Fla., and Anne Christen of Needham, Mass.; a son, Michael Fowler of Colerain Township; a sister, Kathrine Getske of Memphis; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Memorials: Division of Cardiology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, P.O. Box 670542, 231 Bethesda Avenue, Cincinnati 45167-0542.


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