- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Harold Francis Falls

Born  1909
Died  2006

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American physician, born November 25, 1909, Winchester, Indiana; died May 27, 2006, Brighton, Michigan.

Biography of Harold Francis Falls

Harold Francis Falls lost his mother when he was three years old and then spent his early childhood with his grandmother, who was killed by a cow when he was about eight years of age. He then lived with his father and his stepmother in Detroit.

He was educated at the Western High School in Detroit and studied medicine at the University of Michigan, where he graduated in 1936. He spent his entire career at the Univesity of Michigan. After receiving a higher degree in ophthalmology in 1940, he was appointed to the staffs of the University of Michigan Hospital and St. Josephs Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor. In 1941 he helped establish the Heredity Clinic at Michigan, widely recognized as the first of its kind in the nation, and from 1943 served as its medical director. The clinic is now part of the university's department of human genetics.

Falls became professor of ophthalmology in 1959 and emeritus and honorary status was conferred upon him at his retirement in 1975. Falls had a prodigious memory and considerable skill as a writer and had a reputation for being the most widely read member of the medical faculty. He was married to Emeline Duckwitz and the couple had three children.

Harold Francis Falls died on May 27, 2006, aged 96.

We thank Richard Alan Lewis, M.D., for information submitted.


  • Scattered memorabilia: A living history. Autobiography of Harold F. Falls.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics, New York, 1992, 42: 153-155.
  • J. M. Opitz:
    Harold Francis Falls: eye geneticist and pioneer American medical geneticist.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics, January 15, 1992, 42 (2): 145-152.

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