Louis Underwood

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Louis E. Underwood

February 20, 1937- July 21, 2014

Rockville, MD

Louis E. Underwood, M.D., died July 21, 2014 in Rockville, MD after a long illness. Lou was born in Kentucky on February 20, 1937 to Amelia Elizabeth and J.T. Underwood. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and an M.D. from Vanderbilt University where he also completed internship and residency in Pediatrics. At Vanderbilt he met and married his first wife Betsy Swint, with whom he raised three children. After completing an additional year of residency at UNC-CH, he returned to Vanderbilt as Chief Resident. Following completion of that year, he entered the U.S. Navy and served for two years at the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts. In 1967, he returned to UNC-CH for fellowship training in Pediatric Endocrinology. In 1970 he joined the UNC faculty where he remained throughout his career, rising to full professor and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology. He was internationally known and esteemed in Pediatric Endocrinology for his numerous contributions in clinical and basic science research, his care of patients, his teaching, and his leadership. He authored over 160 reports of primary research and over 140 book chapters, and editorials. This work led to his being invited to deliver hundreds of scholarly lectures and other presentations both in the US and in many other countries. He trained untold numbers of medical students and residents, as well as serving as the primary mentor for at least 35 post­doctoral trainees in Pediatric Endocrinology.

In addition to many university administrative duties Dr. Underwood also served major roles in multiple local, national and international groups. He was an advisor to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Academy of Science, the Human Growth Foundation, and many others. Among other roles, he was the President of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, Chairman and later Medical Editor of Pediatric Endocrinology Sub-board of American Board of Pediatrics, and an editor or editorial board member for a number of journals. For a decade prior to retirement he wrote a twice-monthly Pediatric Endocrinology newsletter that had 2,500 physician-subscribers throughout the world. Dr Underwood is survived by his wife of 21 years, Barbara Chrzanowska, two step-daughters Krystyna Litwin and Margaret Sommerville (John Sommerville ) and three step-grandchildren Fred Litwin and NIcholas and Noelle Sommerville. He is also survived by his brother, Dr. Bill Underwood (Carolyn), first wife Betsy Swint Underwood and their children Lee Underwood (Ellen), Beth Underwood (Scott Wall), and Ruth Underwood (Dan Hourigan ) and five grandchildren Anna Underwood, Hattie Wall, Beatrix Wall, Henry Hourigan and Owen Hourigan. He was preceded in death by his older brother John Thomas Underwood III.

A memorial service will be held at University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill in September.
Published in The News & Observer on Aug. 24, 2014
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