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Dr Robert Abbe

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Dr Robert Abbe

  • Birth 13 Apr 1851 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Death 7 Mar 1928 New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
  • Burial Donated to Medical Science
  • Memorial ID 65183773

Age: 76 yrs.

S/O George Waldo Abbe & Charlotte (Colgate) Abbe
H/O Catherine Amory (Bennett) Palmer Abbe (23 Jul 1843-25 Sep 1920); m 14 Nov 1891, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, USA

Dr. Robert Abbe was a man of many interests and talents. He was a world-famous surgeon and medical pioneer, humanitarian and artist.

Robert Abbe was born in New York City. His father was a businessman, philanthropist and a leader of the Baptist Church. Robert’s brother, Cleveland, was a meteorologist who developed what became the National Weather Service.

Dr. Abbe was an attending surgeon at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, where the plastic surgical laboratory is named for him. He developed new techniques for facial, internal and spinal plastic surgery that are still used today.

In 1904, after corresponding with Marie and Pierre Curie about their research on radiation, he visited their laboratories in Paris. Convinced of the benefits of radiation therapy, Dr. Abbe brought samples back and began experimental therapies for cancer treatment. Today, he is known as the founder of radiation therapy in the United States.

At the time, researchers knew little about the risks of radiation exposure. Toward the end of his life, Dr. Abbe suffered from a rare form of anemia that was likely the result of exposure to radiation.

In Maine, Dr. Abbe is remembered for his many contributions toward preserving and enhancing the quality of life on Mount Desert Island, and the founding of the Abbe Museum for the study of the Wabanaki Indians.

Subject of entry 743 of "Abbe-Abbey Genealogy/In Memory of John Abbe and his Descendants" by Cleveland Abbe & Josephine Genung Nichols, 1916:

743. ROBERT⑧ ABBE, son of George Waldo⑦ and Charlotte (Colgate) Abbe, born in New York City, April 13, 1851. Resides in New York City, a surgeon. He was graduated from the College of the City of New York, A.B., 1870; College of Physicians and Surgeons, M.D., 1874. From 1870 to 1872 he was an instructor in English, drawing and geometry, City College; attending surgeon, out-patient department, New York Hospital, 1877-84; professor of didactic surgery, Women’s Medical Collge, two years; professor of surgery at New York Post-Graduate Medical School, 1889-97; lecturer on surgery at Columbia Medical School since 1898; surgeon at St. Luke’s Hospital since 1884; New York Cancer Hospital, since 1893; attending surgeon New York Babies’ Hospital 1892-7; consulting surgeon for Roosevelt, Woman’s and Babies’ hospitals and Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled Children. He has made a special study of the use of radium and is the author of many scientific treatises.

Married November 14, 1891, CATHERINE AMORY BENNETT, widow of Courtlandt Palmer. She has taken a prominent part in the establishment of the City History Club Work, and has been its president for some years.


Family Members


See more Abbe memorials in:

  • Maintained by: Earl Abbe
  • Originally Created by: Dick Quenzer
  • Added: 4 Feb 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 65183773
  • Earl Abbe
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Robert Abbe (13 Apr 1851–7 Mar 1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 65183773, ; Maintained by Earl Abbe (contributor 46843447) Donated to Medical Science.