Open main menu

American Medical Biographies/Woodruff, Charles Edward

Woodruff, Charles Edward (1860–1915)

Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Woodruff, Medical Corps, United States Army, writer and sanitarian, was born in Philadelphia, October 2, 1860, and died at his home in New Rochelle, N. Y., June 13, 1915, from arteriosclerosis, at the age of fifty-four. The son of David S. and Mary J. Remster Woodruff, he was educated at the Central High School in his native city, and at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he spent three years, when he resigned to study medicine at the Jefferson Medical College. Here he graduated in 1886 and entered the navy as assistant surgeon. After a year he was transferred to the army medical corps, being retired because of poor health in 1913. Colonel Woodruff served two terms in the Philippines where he became impressed with the unsuitability of the tropics as a place of residence for white men, a theory which he developed at length in his book "The Effect of Tropical Light on White Men." He wrote also "Expansion of Races," an important book that is a treasure house of anthropological and ethnological facts, and "Medical Ethnology," the last being published not long before his death. After his retirement he made a tour of the world and studied sanitary problems, publishing a large number of pamphlets, mostly on medical topics. In 1914 he became associate editor of American Medicine. He was a man of distinguished presence, most attractive as a companion and an admirable conversationalist and speaker.

He was married and had two sons.

Lancet Clinic, 1915, vol. cxiii, p. 703.
Med. Rec., N. Y., 1915, p. 87, 1034.
Am. Med., N. Y., 1915, vol. xxi, p. 336–337. Port.