Harry Fitch Klinefelter, Jun.
Biography of Harry Fitch Klinefelter, Jun.
Harry Fitch Klinefelter, Jun. studied at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville before entering Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he graduated in 1937. He trained in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and spent a the year 1941-1942 working as a graduate assistant with Fuller Albright at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard. Klinefelter then returned in 1943 to Johns Hopkins Medical School.
Klinefelter served in the armed forces from 1943 to 1946 and thereafter returned to Baltimore, becoming associate professor of medicine in 1966. He had a life-long interest in rheumatology and he has occupied senior positions on committees concerned with that speciality. His two other major fields of interest were endocrinology and the medical management of alcoholism.
Klinefelter considered the syndrome named after him another of Albright’s discoveries and describes the way it came about as follows - whilst a travelling fellow at Harvard from Johns Hopkins he initially worked with Howard Means, on a study of oxygen consumption of the adrenal cortex using a Warburg apparatus.
- «After many unsuccessful attempts at this and after breaking several valuable pieces of apparatus, I asked Dr. Means if I might work with Dr. Fuller Albright in clinical endocrinology; Dr. Means readily acceded to my request.
The next week, at Dr. Albright’s famous Saturday morning clinic, the first patient I saw was a 19 year old black man with gynaecomastia and small testes. Dr. Albright had no clear ideas about this disorder and suggested that I work on it. During the remaining six months of my fellowship we found eight other patients with the condition and worked hard to try to fit together the different pieces of the puzzle.»
He concludes, «This is really another of Dr. Albright’s diseases; he unselfishly allowed my name to come first on the list of authors.»