In Memoriam: Mack Allen Emmerson, DVM (1904-1997)

Dr. Mack Emmerson died March 22, 1997 at the age of 93. Dr. Emmerson, a native of Iowa, received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (1925) and Masters of Science degree (1928) from the Iowa State College. Dr. Emmerson began his academic career at the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine and then joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1929 where he was responsible for Obstetrics and Radiology. While at the University of Pennsylvania, he received a fellowship for Masters Degree training in pathology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Following his return to the University of Pennsylvania in 1930, Dr. Emmerson trained with physician radiologists under the guidance of Dr. Eugene F. Pendergrass, Chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Department of Radiology, and subsequently with Dr. Pommer at the Roentgenological Institute in Vienna.

Dr. Emmerson returned to the University of Pennsylvania to establish the first Department of Veterinary Radiology in a North American veterinary school. The urban environment of Philadelphia provided Dr. Emmerson with an affluent clientele, knowledgeable about the benefits of x-ray diagnosis and therapy for pets. In 1945, he returned to Iowa State Veterinary School, where he taught obstetrics and radiology. Dr. Emmerson was a charter member of the American Veterinary Radiology Society, the Educators in Veterinary Radiologic Science, the American Board of Veterinary Radiology, the American College of Veterinary Radiology, and the International Veterinary Radiology Association. He played an active role in each of these organizations and was a member of the Educators in Veterinary Radiologic Science and the American College of Veterinary Radiology Organizing Committees. Dr. Emmerson’s career in radiology spanned a period of six decades. His specialty training and experience combined with his thoughtful and gentle demeanor were of inestimable value in his contributions to the various radiology societies.

In addition to radiology, Dr. Emmerson was an active and enthusiastic participant in his university and community social affairs. He retired from the faculty of Iowa State University in 1973, but continued to be active in veterinary radiology organizations until recent years. Those of us who now enjoy the many benefits of veterinary radiology owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr Mack Emmerson, a thoughtful, quiet, gentle man who contributed so much to the development of our specialty.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 1997 38 (5), 400.