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Pool, P&S Pioneer in Treatment of Cerebral Aneurysms, Dies at 97
J. Lawrence Pool

J. Lawrence Pool, a pioneer in the research and treatment of cerebral aneurysms, passed away May 4 at the age of 97 at his home in Connecticut . He was a professor emeritus of neurological surgery at Columbia's College of Physicians & Surgeons and former chief of neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, where he served from 1949 to 1972.

Born in 1906 in New York City , Pool was named for his ancestor James Lawrence, a U.S. Navy captain in the War of 1812, whose dying words to his men were "Don't give up the ship!"

He attended Columbia medical school and practiced neurosurgery in New York until the start of World War II. At that time, he joined the 9th Evacuation Hospital of the U.S. Army and performed surgery in North Africa , Italy and France . He returned in 1946 to New York, and in 1949 was named chief of surgery at the Neurological Institute.

He eventually was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of many honors he received during his lifetime.

Pool's talents were not limited to the operating room. He was the national squash racquets champion in both 1929 and in 1931. Pool flew seaplanes, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean multiple times, painted in watercolors and had a passion for fly-fishing.

He authored several books on the brain, for both academic and lay audiences, in addition to smaller works on such topics as Revolutionary War history.

Published: June 16, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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