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Charles LeMaistre - Interview 1

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Descriptive Summary

Collection: Making Cancer History Voices Oral History Collection
Interviewee: LeMaistre, Charles A.
Interviewer: Olson, James Stuart
Interviewer: Brunet, Lesley Williams
Title: Charles A. LeMaistre Oral History Interview 1
Dates: May 6, 2004
Abstract: Dr. Charles A. LeMaistre’s interview begins with the story about how he met his wife, Joyce Trapp LeMaistre. This story intermingles with his early career that lead him to his role as Chancellor at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. LeMaistre offers insight into the effect desegregation had on the University of Texas campus and M. D. Anderson’s faculty diversity. He recounts how he was offered the presidential position at M. D. Anderson, the transition in administrative procedures, and growth of the institution. Dr. LeMaistre shares his wife’s personal fight with cancer and uses it as an example of how effective the institution’s policies and procedures. Dr. LeMaistre’s modesty in his administrative accomplishments shine a light on the high regard he had for his team and institutional family. The interview concludes with Dr. LeMaistre crediting members of the University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors and donors.
Collection Id.: Lemaistre_Charles_20040506
Original Format: Audiocassette
Format: 1 streaming video file and 1 interview transcript
Interview Length: 2 hours
Language: Materials are in English
Repository: Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Biographical Note

Dr. Charles Aubrey (Mickey) LeMaistre studied at the University of Alabama and earned his M.D. at Cornell University, 1947. At the time, his interest encompassed Tuberculosis and infectious diseases. Dr. LeMaistre began his medical career split between teaching and in the U. S. Public Health Service, Epidemic Intelligence Service. While in the service he met his wife Joyce Trapp LeMaistre. They have four children. The basic values of family and faith have been important and influential aspect of Dr. LeMaistre’s personal life and professional administrative career.

Dr. LeMaistre’s highlighted accomplishments throughout his career include his work in creating and expanding health units at numerous universities across the state of Texas. In 1964, Dr. LeMaistre was the youngest member of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health that published a report on tobacco as the major cause of lung cancer. He is known as a world leading authority on the topic.

Dr. LeMaistre taught at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia and at the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. Dr. LeMaistre became vice Chancellor of health affairs of the University of Texas System, based in Austin in 1966. He was Chancellor-elect from 1971-1978. One of his last accomplishments as Chancellor was acquiring a copy of the Gutenberg Bible for the Harry Ransom Center.

After twelve years in Austin, Dr. LeMaistre became the second president of M. D. Anderson in 1978. His leadership and administrative skills are well recognized for aiding in the increase in the size and scope of the institution as well as building and maintaining the reputation of M. D. Anderson as a leading institution in cancer research and treatment. Dr. LeMaistre has received many awards and recognition for his work over the years. He retired from M. D. Anderson August 1996.


Restrictions on Access: Portions of this interview have been redacted for privacy concerns. Please see Archivist for details.
Restrictions on Use:

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons): LeMaistre, Charles A.
Subjects (Organizations): University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -- history

Universities--organization and administration --Texas
Hospital Administration --organization and administration --Texas
Fund Raising
Clinical Trials as Topic
Faculty, Medical --Texas
Laboratories, Hospital
Hospital Departments
Hospitals, Special
Houston (TX)
Oral History

Administrative Information

Provenance: Oral history was conducted with Dr. Charles A. LeMaistre by Dr. James S. Olson and Lesley W. Brunet on May 6, 2004.
Preferred Citation: Charles A. LeMaistre Oral History Interview 1, May 6, 2004, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Processing Information: Oral history was edited by Mikha Mitchell, HRC Intern, Winter 2010

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