John Zahorsky (1871-1963)
Dr. Zahorsky was born in 1871 in Mereny, Austria-Hungary (now in Slovakia), and brought to the US by his parents at the age of 7. He graduated from Steelville Institute, Missouri, with a B.A. in 1892, then worked his way through Missouri Medical College as a phparmacist, file clerk, and ladies’ wear salesman, graduating in 1895.
As a St. Louis pediatrician, he was a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Department of Pediatrics – St. Louis University School of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief of Saint Mary’s Group Hospital. He authored of several books including “Golden Rules of Pediatrics,” “Synopsis of Pediatrics,” “The Infant and Child in Health and Disease,” and “From the Hills” (an autobiography). He is credited with the first clear clinical description of Roseola in 1909, which was (at one time) known as Zahorsky’s Syndrome.
In 1904, he took over administration of the “Incubator Baby” exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair, after it had come under criticism for an epidemic of diarrhea with several deaths, and wrote a series of articles about it which appeared in the St. Louis Courier of Medicine (linked below) and were later collected into a book titled “Baby Incubators, A Clinical Study Of The Premature Infant: With Especial Reference To Incubator Institutions Conducted For Show Purposes.”
After 52 years of practicing pediatrics in St. Louis, he retired to his old home town of Steelville, Missouri, to practice as a country doctor. He died in 1963 at the age of 91 and was buried in the Steelville Cemetery.
- Baby Incubators on the Pike, a series of 7 articles in the St. Louis Courier of Medicine
- See the Incubator Babies, by Hon. Murat Halstead
- Excerpts from John Zahorsky’s Biography, describing his experiences at the St. Louis World’s Fair
- Photos from the Incubator Exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair, from the Missouri Historical Society Photo Collection
- Men of Medicine: John Zahorsky in Postgraduate Medicine (may have paywall)