Past ABPS, PSRC president Erle Peacock dies at 86

PSN Staff
10/01/2012 at 10:00AM

Erle Peacock, MD, JD, a pioneering hand surgeon and past president of the Plastic Surgery Research Council and American Board of Plastic Surgery, passed away Oct. 25, at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Dr. Peacock was the founder and first chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of North Carolina (UNC), where he served on the faculty from 1956-68. He left UNC for the University of Arizona to become the founding chair of the Department of Surgery and chief of Surgery at the new University Hospital. He also taught and practiced surgery between 1977 and 1982 in New Orleans at Tulane University before returning to Chapel Hill and the private practice of plastic surgery from 1982 until his retirement in 1993.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Peacock practiced law, where he had major impact defending physicians in malpractice suits.

"We all knew Erle as the wise professor who gave amazing personal, professional, and clinical advice, especially at our teaching conferences, but Erle is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the giants in plastic surgery of the 20th century," says UNC Chief of Plastic Surgery and PSN Editor C. Scott Hultman, MD. "One cannot discuss Jurkiewicz, Mathes, Millard, Tessier and Hartrampf without mentioning the prolific contributions of Erle Peacock. He brought hand surgery into the modern era and was the first to critically study wound healing of tendon, ligaments and bone."

Dr. Peacock served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the U.S. Army Medical Corp, where he specialized in hand surgery at Valley Forge Army Hospital during the Korean War.

In addition to numerous articles published in scientific journals, he authored the textbook Wound Repair, and co-authored Scientific Management of Surgical Patients.

Dr. Peacock is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary Lowrey Peacock, two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.