Scope and Content
University of California, San Francisco Archives & Special Collections
Title: Chauncey Depew Leake Papers,
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.78.6
10.4 Linear Feet
8 cartons, 1 box
Date (inclusive): 1912-1978
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language of Material: English
- UCSF Library & CKM
- Archives and Special Collections
- 530 Parnassus Ave.
- San Francisco, CA 94143-0840
- Phone: (415) 476-8112
- Fax: (415) 476-4653
- Email: http://www.library.ucsf.edu/collections/archives/contact
- URL: http://www.library.ucsf.edu/collections/archives
- Processed by:
- Special Collections staff
- Date Completed:
- Encoded by:
- James Ryan
Collection is open for research.
Materials received 1964-78; addenda received 10/89.
[Identification of item], Chauncey Depew Leake Papers, MSS 78-6, Archives & Special Collections, UCSF Library & CKM
Chauncy Depew Leake was born on September 5, 1896, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He received the Litt.B. degree from Princeton
in 1917, having studied philosophy, chemistry and biology in a famous class that included such distinguished writers as John
Peale Bishop, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edmund Wilson. When the United States entered World War I, he enlisted in the New Jersey
National Guard. He served in a machine gun company, where he rose to the rank of first sergeant, and later was transferred
to the Chemical Warfare Service. After the war, he continued investigations he'd begun into war gases at the University of
Wisconsin, where he earned his M.S. (1920) and Ph.D. (1923) in pharmacology and physiology. At Wisconsin he also began teaching
in the three areas that would occupy him throughout his career: he was an instructor in physiology (1920-1923), an assistant
professor (1923-1925) and later associate professor (1925-1928) of pharmacology, and, beginning in 1921, he began teaching
and writing on the history of science and medicine.
In 1928 Dr. Leake came to the University of California School of Medicine, where he established the Department of Pharmacology
and served as a professor in that department. Later, he served as the librarian to the medical school and established the
Department of the History of the Health Sciences, where he served as a senior lecturer. In 1942 he became executive vice-president
of the University of Texas, where he established its Medical Branch at Galveston. In 1955 he went to the Ohio State University
as a professor of pharmacology and lecturer in the history and philosophy of medicine. Returning to the University of California
at San Francisco in 1962, he directed the research training program for medical students (1962-1965), lectured in pharmacology
and the history and philosophy of medicine, and was a professor of medical jurisprdence at Hastings College of the Law (1963-1965).
Dr. Leake's research at UCSF covered a wide range of topics in the field of pharmacology. He was especially noted for work
on anesthesia, and in the development of tranquilizers. A prolific writer, Dr. Leake produced over 25 books and more than
600 articles. His popular versions of Harvey's classic De Motu Cordis and Percival's Medical Ethics, the foundation for modern
bio-ethics, were both produced in the 1920s, have been translated into many languages and continue to be in demand. In 1960-1961,
Dr. Leake held the American scientific community's highest honor, presidency of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science, which he had previously served twice as vice-president. Among many other positions, he served as consultant to
the National Research Council, the Public Health Service and the National Library of Medicine, and as chairman of the American
Medical Association's Section on Pharmacology. He also served as president of the History of Science Society and the Society
for the History of Medicine. Chauncey Leake was an avid member of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, where he died on January
11, 1978, just after the completion of a reading of his poems.
Scope and Content
Collection includes biographical materials, diaries, notes and poetry; correspondence (scientific and general), articles,
reviews, lectures; syllabi and course materials; manuscripts (holograph and typescripts) of published and unpublished materials,
student papers, and reprints. Another collection of Leake's papers exists at the National Library of Medicine.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Chit Chat Club, San Francisco
Irwin Memorial Blood Bank, San Francisco
St. Luke's Hospital, San Francisco
Evans, Herbert McLean
Harvey, William. De motu cordis
Porter, R. Langley