Ruth Hartgraves, MD, a Houston obstetrician and gynecologist who delivered more than 3,000 Houstonians and pioneered the trail for women in medicine during the span of her 50 year career, died October 17, 1995, at the age of 93. A native Texan, Dr. Hartgraves was born October 24, 1901 and moved to the Houston area during the 1930s to attend the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. She graduated from UTMB's School of Medicine in 1932, and thereafter completed an internship at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, and a residency at the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
Dr. Hartgraves begain her career in Houston in 1935 and held appointments at Methodist, Hermann, Memorial, St. Luke's and Jefferson Davis Hospitals before retiring from practice in 1987. She was also a faculty member of Baylor College of Medicine for almost 30 years.
Dr. Hartgraves was the recipient of the 1992 Distinguished Professional Women's Award which is presented by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. This award was presented in recognition of Dr. Hartgraves' outstanding achievements in Texas and the nation, for the significant contributions she made to her professional discipline, and for her pioneering spirit to mentor women and to provide a positive role model.
In 1985, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hartgraves was also the recipient of the 1980 Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award granted by the UTMB School of Medicine alumni to graduates who have made significant contributions to the medical profession and to mankind.
She served as an organizer and the first President of the Houston branch of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), as well as President of the national AMWA organization. In 1975, her efforts earned her the AMWA's highest honor, the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, presented annually to a person making an outstanding contribution to the cause of women in medicine. Dr. Hartgraves was the first Texas physician to be so recognized.
She was a charter member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church and had a life-long record of involvement in community affairs, including the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Ballet Society, and the Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Pediatric Neurology.
Houston Chronicle, Thursday, October 19, 1995.