Dr. Harold L. “Red” Stewart – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report

Harold L. “Red” Stewart, 98, who worked for the National Institutes of Health for 32 years before retiring in 1969 as pathology chief at its National Cancer Institute, died of respiratory failure May 30, 1998 at the home of a daughter in Bethesda, Maryland. He had lived in Rockville since 1946.

Dr. Stewart joined the National Cancer Institute in Boston in 1937 and came to Washington in 1939 when the center relocated to this area. Before retiring, he had been chief of laboratory pathology and pathological anatomy at NIH. After his formal retirement, he helped found the Registry of Experimental Cancers and was an NIH research scientist emeritus until retiring altogether in 1996.

He was a past president of the American Association for Cancer Research and had been a clinical professor of pathology at Georgetown University medical school. He also had served with the World Health Organization, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and with the Uniformed Services School in Bethesda, where a lectureship was named in his honor in 1986.

Over the years, he had been an adviser to such groups as the World Health Organization and had held office, done consulting work and even founded such professional groups as the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the International Academy of Pathology.

During a 70-year professional career, he had published 250 technical articles and had trained scientists from more than 20 nations. However, he may be best remembered in some professional circles for the brown-bag lunches he had hosted where visiting and staff scientists, as well as students and visitors, discussed medical advances. These seminars became something of an institution.

Dr. Stewart, a native of Houtzdale, Pennsylvania., dropped out of high school to serve in the Marine Corps during World War I, an experience that he later maintained taught him discipline. After the war, he finished high school and attended the University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson College.

After graduating from Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia in 1926, where he received the prize in surgery, he joined the Army Reserve and served a residency at an Army hospital in Denver. He served on active duty with the Army Medical Corps during World War II, becoming pathology chief of Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, and retired after the war with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Before joining the National Cancer Institute when it was formed, Dr. Stewart had served on the faculties of the Jefferson Medical School and then Harvard University medical school.

His wife, Eleanor, died in 1987. Survivors include a son, Robert, of Westfield, N.J.; a daughter, Janet S. Rowan of Bethesda; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.


On Saturday, May 30, 1998 of Rockville, MD, beloved husband of the late Eleanor Stewart; father of Robert Stewart and Janet Rowan; grandfather of seven; great-grandfather of six. Private services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Harold L. Stewart Prize in Pathology, Jefferson Medical College, Alumni Office, 1020 Locust St., Rm. M-41, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

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