Leslie DeGroot, MD – Endotext Founder 1928-2018

Leslie J. De Groot MD - Endotext Founder – 1928 – 2018

Leslie J. DeGroot MD (“Les”) was born on a dairy farm in Fort Edward NY in 1928, dedicated his life to thyroid disease research and endocrinology and died soon after his 90thbirthday, surrounded by his many loving grandchildren, children and his wife on October 23, 2018 in Nonquitt, Massachusetts. He was the accomplished son of Fort Edward artist Frances (Orr) and church deacon and farmer Henry De Groot. Leslie worked hard on both farm work and school work, went to college early, and graduated from nearby Union College in 1948 at age 20. He then moved to New York City, earning his medical degree at Columbia University Medical School, in 1952 and serving as Intern and Resident at the Presbyterian Hospital, where he met the love of his life, Helen (Pond Searls). They were married in 1955 while he was working at the National Cancer Center, National Institutes of Health, in Washington DC. He and Helen moved to Laskergah, Afghanistan, serving the US Operational Mission to Afghanistan, building and operating a hospital before returning home in 1956 to settle in Winchester, Massachusetts with his growing family.

 

Les started his academic career in endocrinology with John Stanbury at Massachusetts General Hospital, was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, then served as Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before becoming Professor of Medicine and Director of the Thyroid Study Unit at the University of Chicago in 1968 at the age of 40. He had a highly productive career in academic research, publishing more than 400 books, papers and chapters. He was an active member of the endocrine community, serving as President of the American Thyroid Association, associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine (as a fellow) and as a member of the editorial board of Endocrinology. He was also the editor of the well-known text book Endocrinology for four editions. Perhaps his most important contribution to patient care was that he pioneered the publication of online medical textbooks for endocrinology EndoTextwww.endotext.org and for thyroid disease, Thyroid Manager www.thyroidmanager.org, which have served as resources for endocrinologists all over the world for more than a decade.

 

In 2005, he ‘retired’ from the University of Chicago and became a faculty member at Brown University, continuing his research on thyroid disease in the laboratory run by his daughter Annie De Groot MD, before moving (with Annie) to the University of Rhode Island in 2008 and becoming one of the founding members of the Institute for Immunology and Informatics in downtown Providence (at the age of 80).

 

He loved to sail the Restless on Buzzards Bay. Husband to Helen, father to artist Katie DeGroot, physician and researcher Annie De Groot, community organizer Elyse De Groot, physician Henry De Groot, and entrepreneur Jessica De Groot, grandfather to Niles, Zeno and Aminata, Matthew and Eliza, Phoebe, Genevieve, Henry and Catherine, Jocelyn, and Julian, and mentor to a diaspora of endocrinology fellows. He will be sorely missed.

 

In lieu of flowers, please send your memorial contributions to:

Buzzards Bay Coalition (Where Les loved to sail …save Buzzards Bay, for the next generation)

http://www.savebuzzardsbay.org/

American Farmland Trust: https://www.farmland.org/…because Les loved the Farm.

 

A memorial service will be held on in late November at the Fort Miller Church in Upstate New York, please contact dr.annie.degroot@gmail.com if you are interested in attending.

 

For videos of LDG: https://www.thyroid.org/portfolio/history-archives-interview/

 

For an interview: https://www.endocrine.org/~/media/endosociety/files/about-us/sawin/lesliedegroot_trans.pdf?la=en

4 thoughts on “Leslie DeGroot, MD – Endotext Founder 1928-2018

  1. Kenneth Feingold, MD

    Leslie was a giant in the field of endocrinology. His passion for providing education to the endocrine community has stimulated many of us to devote our energy and time in trying to make Endotext a success. Without Leslie Endotext would not exist. I only hope that we can keep his dream alive- to provide for free up-to-date expert information that covers all of endocrinology so clinicians can provide the very best care to their patients.

    I have received numerous comments from Endotext section editors and I have taken the liberty to include some of them below.

    Aaron I. Vinik-Section editor
    “My very best to the family and I personally do not think I would have risen to the occasion and rewrote 15 Chapters in 2018 if it had not been for the coaxing and persuasive impact Les had. More than anything else I felt ultimately rewarded by having a presence in the text Les so admirably steered and made it the tome it has become. A great loss and one who we only aspire to emulate.”

    Rob McLachlan- Section editor
    “It was an honour to have known Prof for the 20 years since the inception of ENDOTEXT and to have ‘manned the stand’ at numerous meetings including the international Endo Congress in Brazil many years ago. He was the quintessential teacher and his passion never diminished. My wife and I visited them the upstate NY in 2011.. I will always remember caching him a bass off the bank of the Hudson with an old rod we found in the shed.”

    Christian Koch- Section editor
    “Les was a very fine man and his daughter Annie shared with me that he had been extremely proud of his creations Thyroid Manager and Endotext. She sent me this video here…
    https://www.thyroid.org/portfolio/history-archives-interview/
    and I am sure that everyone of us has memories of situations to remember him by.
    We all will miss him!”

    Jon Purnell- Section editor
    “Although I have only gotten a chance to get to know him for the past few years, his tireless scholarship work in Endocrinology has been an influence on my career for the past 20 years. I am thankful for the opportunity to have met him.”

    Gregory Kaltsas- Section editor
    “His spirit and enthusiasm will be greatly missed”

    Robert Rebar- Section editor
    “We shall all miss Les. What a giant in endocrinology. I remember first meeting Les shortly after moving to Chicago in 1984. His asking me to write a chapter for one of his books was a cherished honor.”

    Ashley Grossman- Section editor
    “He was a real ‘giant’, I doubt his like will be seen again. We will indeed sorely miss him.”

    Jerry Hershman- Section editor
    “Les was a real giant in thyroid research, mentoring, and teaching personally and especially through his many textbooks, including those online. I will certainly miss him.”

  2. Arvind Cavale

    All I knew about Dr. DeGroot was from reading his textbook. But somehow I got to know him via email exchanges over the past 4-5 years (thanks to Endo Text). I will miss exchanging interesting emails with Les. I am thankful for having known this legend.

  3. Darius Schneider

    A giant of endocrinology – I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to interact with Les via endotext. He will be dearly missed.
    Darius A. Schneider, MD/PhD
    Seattle, Wash.

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