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Dr James William Colbert, Jr
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Birth: Dec. 14, 1920
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Sep. 11, 1974
Charlotte
Mecklenburg County
North Carolina, USA

He died when Eastern Airlines Flight 212 went down in a North Carolina cornfield. James Colbert, and two of his sons, Paul, 18, and Peter, 15, were on the doomed flight, and lost their lives along with 69 other people. James was the Father of Stephen Colbert, of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central.

[Doctor, educator, administrator, civil rights advocate;] James William Colbert, Jr., M.D. was born in New York City on December 15, 1920 [to parents, James William COLBERT, Sr.(b. Feb 10, 1894, d. Jun 1971) and Mary M. TORMEY.] Raised in Larchmont, NY, Colbert grew up in a devout Roman Catholic household and attended parochial schools. A bookish child from an early age, Colbert spent his formative years at St. Augustine’s School in Larchmont for junior high school and Iona Preparatory in New Rochelle, NY for high school. Colbert studied philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts and graduated in 1942 with an A.B. degree. Despite a deep interest in philosophy, Colbert turned to a career in medicine because “it just seemed to be the thing to do at the time.” [Margaret Colbert Keegan] . In 1942, Colbert was accepted into the medical program at New York’s Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons where he concentrated on immunology and infectious diseases. Colbert earned his M.D. degree in 1945 and completed an internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City before joining the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1946. Captain Colbert spent a year in Europe with the Medical Corps before completing his residency at Yale UniverFamily and faith were essential to Dr. Colbert and both played significant roles in his life decisions. On August 26, 1944, at the age of 24, Dr. Colbert married his childhood sweetheart, Lorna Tuck. They immediately started a family and ultimately raised 11 children.sity School of Medicine.Upon returning from a year in Europe with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. Colbert completed a residency at Yale University School of Medicine. In 1949 Dr. Colbert returned to the Army Medical Corps where he served as a representative of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board, Director of Hepatitis Research Team and Technical Director of the Hepatitis Laboratory in Munich, Germany. During this same period, Dr. Colbert also served as Instructor of Medicine at Yale and rose to the position of Assistant Professor of Medicine. In 1951 Dr. Colbert was promoted to Assistant Dean of the Yale University School of Medicine, a position he held until 1953, when he left Yale to become Dean of the St. Louis University School of Medicine. At that time at the age of 32, he was the youngest person to hold the deanship of a medical school. He served as Dean at St. Louis until 1961 when he accepted the post of Associate Director for Extramural Programs at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. On February 1, 1969, James W. Colbert, Jr., M.D. arrived at the Medical University of South Carolina as its first Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Colbert’s years of experience at Yale, St. Louis, and NIH prepared him for the administrative challenges at MUSC. During his five years of service, Dr. Colbert oversaw the Medical University during a period of unparalleled growth. A visionary, facilitator, and advocate, Dr. Colbert worked with faculty and staff to strengthen the university’s core missions – education, research, and patient care. His work laid the foundation for MUSC’s rise as a nationally renowned academic medical center.Dr. Colbert was a man of great diplomacy, fairness, and pragmatism. These skills proved invaluable as he worked to improve relations between the university and Charleston’s private practice physicians. They also played an important role in his ability to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the volatile and racially divisive 1969 Hospital Workers Strike. Dr. Colbert served on numerous national committees. He was a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Medical Education Review Committee, of the National Advisory Board for Selective Service System for Physicians and Surgeons, of the Veterans Administration’s Institutional Research Review Committee, and of the Board of Directors of the Health Education Media Association. He was also a lecturer in Advanced Study Programs of the Brookings Institute. Among state and regional appointments, Dr. Colbert served as chairman of the Regional Advisory Group to the South Carolina Regional Medical Program, and as a member of the South Carolina Joint Practice Commission with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society and Sigma Xi Honorary Scientific Society. Dr. Colbert played a major role in the development of South Carolina’s statewide system of health education (AHEC), and was instrumental in developing the Medical University’s Family Practice Program. Historical records suggest that Dr. Colbert was the likely successor to Dr. William M. McCord as president of the Medical University. However, on September 11, 1974, Dr. Colbert and his sons, Paul and Peter, were tragically killed in an airplane accident in Charlotte, North Carolina. [Cause of death: Severe burns and smoke inhalation as a result of an airplane crash.] He was survived by his wife Lorna, and nine children.(primary ref: Waring Library, MUSC; edited) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Lorna Elizabeth Tuck Colbert (1920 - 2013)*
 
 Children:
  Paul J. Colbert (1956 - 1974)*
  Peter M. Colbert (1959 - 1974)*
 
*Calculated relationship

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Burial:
Annapolis National Cemetery
Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Maryland, USA
Plot: E, 0, 2539A
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 505359
Dr James William Colbert, Jr
Added by: Cedar Forest
 
Dr James William Colbert, Jr
Added by: RCS
 
Dr James William Colbert, Jr
Added by: RCS
 
 
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 Added: Aug. 29, 2016
RIP and God bless; from a SLU alumnus
- RCS
 Added: May. 11, 2016

- V
 Added: Apr. 30, 2016
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