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Hebbel Edward Hoff was born December 2, 1907, in Urbana, Illinois. His family moved to Washington state when he was a child and he was the valedictorian of the 1924 class of Bothell High School, Bothell, Washington. He studied medicine at the Universisty of Washington for four years before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England. He completed his M.D. at Harvard University in 1936 and continued to do research in electrocardiology at Yale University. He won the Warren Scientific Treatise Prize in 1941 while working at Yale. He was chair of the McGill University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) Physiology Department from 1943 to 1948, when he took a position with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He was dean of Baylor until his death on May 1, 1987.