Theodore J. Bauer
33MD, 34BS

Achievement 1997

Theodore J. "Ted" Bauer, 33MD, 34BS, was born in Iowa City and educated in its parochial schools before entering the UI as an undergraduate. The son of a hardworking family that lost both its broom factory and farm during the Depression, Bauer worked his way through medical school, earning his degrees against long odds.

Upon graduating from the UI medical school, Bauer left Iowa for internships and residencies in Chicago and New York, experiences that furthered his interest in public epidemiology and set the bearings for the course of his career.

Beginning his medical career at a time when there were not antibiotics and when deadly diseases such as polio were widespread and indiscriminate killers, Bauer found himself on the front lines in many major public health battles. While in Chicago, a precocious Bauer established a badly needed Venereal Disease Center for that city in 1942. The fight for cures eventually took him around the country and world, and his career began to increasingly reflect his interest in public health policy.

He served as chief of the Division of Venereal Disease in US Public Health Service in Washington, DC, from 1948-53, and medical officer in charge of the Communicable Disease center (now known as the Center for Disease Control) in Atlanta, from 1953-56. Bauer also served on numerous expert committees for the World Health Organization in Switzerland, from 1948-57, and was chief of the Bureau for State Services in the US Public Health Service in Washington, DC, from 1960-62.

Bauer's medical career coincided with astoundingly rapid scientific innovations, both in treatment and prevention of disease, and he approached his work with an eye to disseminating these new discoveries and teaching techniques. Through the years, he became a fixture as a visiting lecturer at the nation's best medical schools, continued to do research in the fields of immunology and communicable diseases, published more than 50 scientific articles on infectious diseases and chronic disease control, and was editor of the Journals of Venereal Disease Information from 1948-52.

In 1962, after receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the US Public Health Service, Bauer went to work for Becton, Dickinson and Company, a major pharmaceutical company in New Jersey, where he was senior vice president for Research and Medical Affairs from 1967-75.

Bauer's many professional achievements are recorded in the history of public health medicine in our century, just as his generosity and devotion to building a better and healthier future for UI Hospitals and Clinics promises a lasting legacy. In 1994, Bauer and his wife, Helen Matters Bauer, 31BA, established a significant charitable remainder unitrust that will eventually provide scholarships for outstanding students in need of financial assistance in the UI College of Medicine.

Bauer and his wife are life members of the UI Alumni Association and members of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club.