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Dr W. Kemp Clark
Birth: Sep. 2, 1925
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Death: Nov. 29, 2007
Dallas County
Texas, USA

JFK Assassination Figure. A neurosurgeon, he is remembered for attending President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and for making the formal death pronouncement. Born William Kemp Clark, he was raised in Dallas, graduated from the University of Texas in 1944, earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1948, and was an intern and surgical resident at Indiana University from 1948 to 1950. Following two years service in the US Air Force, Dr. Clark received his neurosurgical training in New York at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital's Neurological Institute, then in 1956 returned to Dallas to assume the chair of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Southwestern (UT Southwestern). On November 22, 1963, the doctor, who was also chief of neurosurgery at neighboring Parkland Hospital, was working in his laboratory at the medical school when he was notified that the President had been shot and was in bound to Parkland. Upon his arrival in the emergency room about two minutes later, at roughly 12:30 PM, he saw that JFK had a probably non-survivable head wound and that a resuscitation effort had begun, with Dr. Jim Carrico having placed an endotracheal tube and Dr. Mac Perry in the process of performing a tracheotomy. Dr. Clark briefly gave cardiac massage but turned that duty over to Dr. Perry so that he himself could more fully evaluate the head injury. As he was later to record, he saw a "large", 3 X 3 centimeter, hole in the right occipital-parietal area, meaning toward the back of the head, with both cerebral and cerebellar tissue visible. After anesthesiologist Dr. A.H. Giesecke, Jr. placed a cardiac monitor, he observed that there was no electrical activity of the heart and that there was no pulse with CPR, and thus, as the senior physician present, he pronounced the President dead at 1 PM. Subsequently, he notified Mrs. Kennedy of her husband's demise, signed a Texas death certificate which he gave to Presidential physician Dr. George Burkley, and managed to avoid the dust-up between Dallas Coroner Dr. Earl Rose and the Secret Service. He joined with Dr. Perry in a news conference that afternoon, participated in several later ones, was questioned by the FBI at least twice, and in March of 1964 gave testimony to the Warren Commission. In later years critics of the Warren Report were to point out the mismatch of the wound descriptions given by Dr. Clark and the other Dallas doctors with that of the Bethesda pathologists, with Dr. Clark recording a much smaller wound, failing to observe a small hole situated below the larger one, and noting the presence of cerebellar tissue, implying a wound much further back on the head, which Dr. Jim Humes and the other pathologists did not. Dr. Clark replied that he must have been wrong about the cerebellum, that he missed the other hole under the hair and blood, and that he certainly had no intention of performing a post-mortem examination. Still, he was largely spared the venom directed at Dr. Perry over the tracheotomy and went on to a distinguished career. A respected authority on head trauma, cerebral aneurysms, and glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly severe malignant brain tumor, he trained numerous residents and medical students and even started a program called Think First, an educational effort aimed at getting young people to avoid high risk behavior. Designated a Distinguished Alumnus by both the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston and the Neurological Institute, he served as President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons in 1981 and 1982 and of the Society of Neurological Surgery from 1983 to 1984. The doctor retired to Professor Emeritus status in 1990, gave a 1993 interview to Gerald Posner for his book "Case Closed", and divided his later years between Dallas and Pebble Beach. At his death the subject of "Who Killed Kennedy?" remained as controversial as ever. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
Greenwood Cemetery
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Oct 10, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 118471240
Dr W. Kemp Clark
Added by: Bob Hufford
Dr W. Kemp Clark
Added by: Bob Hufford
Dr W. Kemp Clark
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Added by: Momstore
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- Lazer
 Added: Feb. 9, 2014
Fondly Remembered. You Were One of My Examiners When I Took My Neurological Surgery Boards at the Cleveland Clinic on May 13,1977. R.I.P.
- Richard Seibert M.D.
 Added: Jan. 5, 2014

- MosherSt.Munger
 Added: Nov. 29, 2013
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