This collection contains the papers of Dr. Theodore J. Curphey (1897-1986), who served as the first
medical examiner-coroner of Los Angeles County from 1957 to 1967. The chief topics of the Curphey papers are: his work as
Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,
Battered Child Syndrome, air pollution, smoking and smog, aircraft accidents, suicide and suicide prevention, drug addiction
and overdose, causes of death, homicides, asphyxia,
autopsy, drowning, forensic pathology, forensic science, oral contraceptives, and violent deaths.
Theodore Joscelyn Curphey was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on October 25, 1897.
He received his M.D., C.M. in 1921 from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.
After receiving his medical license from the Medical Council of Canada in 1921,
Curphey moved to New York to begin a fellowship at New York University Bellevue
Medical College, where he worked as a resident in pathology from 1923-1926, and
later as a an instructor, lecturer, and assistant professor of pathology. In 1935
Curphey became a naturalized U.S. citizen, and was appointed Director of Clinical
Laboratories at Meadowbrook Hospital in Nassau County, New York. Shortly thereafter,
Curphey was appointed Chief Medical Examiner of Nassau County, a position he held
from 1938 to 1957. While acting as Nassau County Medical Examiner, Curphey also held
positions as a pathologist for various local hospitals, served as an officer of
multiple professional medical organizations, and published a number of medical
Approximately 9,250 items. 50
boxes, plus one oversize album.
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to
quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such
activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is
one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Due to the nature of the collection and the amount of personal, medical information
that is present in the collection, many parts of the collection are sealed for 50 years (opening in 2062). This material is
noted in this finding
aid and consists of Box 6 (Folders 1, 3-4, 8-9) ; Box 16; Box 17 (Folders 1, 8-10, 12); Box 28; Box 29 (Folders 8-9) [moved
to Box 45]; and Boxes 32-43. This material has been removed from the collection.