Dr. Raymond Donald Pruitt received the B.S. degree from Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, in 1933; the B.A. degree in physiology in 1936 from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar; the M.D. degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1939; the M.S. degree in medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1944; and the M.A. degree from Oxford University in 1963. An internationally renowned cardiologist, Dr. Pruitt was Director of the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Minnesota from 1968 to 1975; Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine from 1959-1968; Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Executive Officer at Baylor from 1966 to 1968; Director, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, University of Minnesota from 1968-1975; Director for Education, Mayo Foundation, from 1968 to1977; and Founding Dean of the Mayo Medical School from 1971 to 1977. He retired in July 1992 as Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, College of Medicine, and Consultant in Cardiology at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Hospital.
During his career, Dr. Pruitt was president of the Association of University Cardiologists, secretary of the American Board for Cardiovascular Disease, president of the American Osler Society, and a member of the National Research Resources Advisory council, the National Advisory Heart Council, the President’s Committee on Heart Disease, Alpha Omega Alpha, and the editorial boards of American Heart Journal (1960-1968) and Circulation (1962-1967 and 1969-1973.) From 1969 to 1970, he was chairman, Section of Internal Medicine, of the American Medical Association, and from 1968 to 1973 he was a member of Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committees.
He earned an honorary D.Sc. degree from Baker University in 1956, the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota in 1964, the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from the University of Kansas in 1967, the Distinguished Service Award from that same university in 1971, an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1980, and a trustee medallion from Baylor College of Medicine in 1988.
Dr. Pruitt was born February 6, 1912 in Wheaton, Minnesota and died January 14, 1993. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian, and was survived by his children, Virginia, Kristin, David, Charles, and grandchildren.
Adapted from Houston Medicine, June 1993, Volume 9, page 29.