Paul Dudley White

Paul Dudley White (1886 – 1973)

Paul Dudley White (1886 – 1973) was an American cardiologist

A global pioneer in cardiology during the early 1900s

In 1930, White along with Louis Wolff and John Parkinson, described bundle-branch block associated with a short P-R period in healthy young people prone to paroxysmal tachycardia (the Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome)

In 1986 he was honored with a 3¢ Great Americans series postage stamp (September 15 1986)

He was an advocate for healthy living in preventing cardiac disease, promoting physical exercise, sleep and a nutritious diet. “Death from a heart attack before the age of 80 is not God’s will, it is man’s will.”

  • Born 6 June 1886 Massachusetts
  • 1911 – MD, Harvard Medical School
  • 1911-1913 – Fellowship in cardiovascular physiology, University College Hospital, London
  • 1914-1918 – WW1 initially serving for the British Force in France and then the American Expeditionary force and Red Cross in Greece
  • 1919 – 1949 Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 1922 – Founded the American Heart Association
  • 1931 – Published his hugely popular monograph ‘Heart Disease’
  • 1942 – President of American Heart Association
  • 1948– President of International Society of Cardiology
  • 1955 – Cardiologist to President Dwight D. Eisenhower after his heart attack
  • Died 31 October 1973 at 87 years

Medical Eponyms

Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome (1930) is a combination of the presence of a congenital accessory pathway and episodes of tachyarrhythmia. When recognised in 1930 during a case study of 11 patients, it was first described as:

Functional bundle-branch block and abnormally short P-R interval, occurring mostly in otherwise healthy young people with paroxysms of tachycardia or of auricular fibrillation.”

Wolff L, Parkinson J, White PD 
  • SI QIII TIII  pattern on ECG (1935) representing right heart strain in an acute pulmonary embolism.

(1)The prominent S wave and low origin of the T wave in lead 1, the ST segment starting slightly below the baseline, (2) the gradual staircase ascent of the ST interval from the S wave to the T wave in lead 2, and especially (3) the Q wave and definite late inversion of the T wave in lead 3. 

McGinn S and White PD

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books |

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