Almost Yesterday: Farmington's Dr. Andrew Ivy

Dec 3, 2019

It seems like Almost Yesterday that Andrew Conway Ivy was one of the most well-known and celebrated physicians in the world. Born and raised in Farmington, Missouri, Dr. Ivy graduated from Southeast Missouri State Normal School in 1913, where his father, Henry Ivy, was a member of the science faculty.

An excellent student, Andrew Ivy went on to the University of Chicago and in 1918 received his medical degree. From 1926 to 1945 Dr. Ivy served as Chairman of the Division of Physiology and Pharmacology at Northwestern University where he established an international reputation as a scholar, researcher, and writer.

His 1400 page book on the treatment of ulcers was a standard text for nearly a century, and it was Dr. Ivy who revived the process of mouth to mouth resuscitation of stricken individuals.

During World War II Ivy was a medical consultant to the U. S. Military and was the medical representative of the United States to the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Time magazine wrote that Dr. Ivy, the “citizen doctor, . . . [was] as American as baseball,” and “the most quoted doctor in the world.”

Following the war, Dr. Ivy became a vice president at the University of Illinois, but became embroiled in the great krebiozen controversy of the 1950s and 60s. Krebiozen, developed by a Yugoslavian physician, was praised by Dr. Ivy as effective against cancer, but denounced by the American Medical Association. Dr. Ivy, and others, were indicted for fraud, although found not guilty after a nine month trial. Krebiozen was banned in the United States, and Dr. Ivy’s reputation never recovered.