Benson Reid Wilcox, M.D., pediatric heart surgeon and emeritus chief of cardiothoracic surgery, dies at 77

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 — Benson Reid Wilcox, M.D., a distinguished heart surgeon who served 29 years as chief of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, died May 11, 2010, at his home after a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

Benson Reid Wilcox, M.D., pediatric heart surgeon and emeritus chief of cardiothoracic surgery, dies at 77
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Benson R. Wilcox, M.D., in January 2010.

Dr. Wilcox, a native of Charlotte who earned his A.B. and M.D. degrees at UNC, served as chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UNC from 1969 to 1998. During that period, which was a time of dramatic advances in heart and lung surgery, UNC Hospitals began offering coronary artery surgery, heart and lung transplantation, successful surgery for congenital heart defects in newborn infants, and a comprehensive program for the treatment of lung and esophageal cancer.

He held important leadership posts in national medical organizations and was especially interested in the training of future surgeons. He was co-author of three books and an author of numerous medical journal articles and book chapters.

A memorial service is planned for Friday, May 14, at 2 p.m. in Gerrard Hall on the UNC campus. Gerrard Hall is on Cameron Avenue, across from the Old Well, between Memorial Hall and the South Building.

Read Dr. Wilcox's obituary here.