Dr. Paul Jordan Jr.
1919 - 2021
Paul H. Jordan, Jr.

Paul Howard Jordan Jr. was born November 22, 1919 in Bigelow, Arkansas to Marie and Paul Jordan Sr. From humble beginnings, he went on to become a successful self-made man. During the first ten years of his life, the family moved numerous times, but by 1930 they had settled in Peoria, Illinois where Paul became a competitive swimmer, an activity he enjoyed and continued into his college years.
Paul remained in Peoria until he began his undergraduate studies in premed at the University of Chicago and then continued on at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine where he received his MD degree. During his time in medical school, Paul lived with other students in the home of Cr. Dallas B. Phemister, Chair of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Phemister's many surgical accomplishments were influential in Paul's decision to specialize in surgery.
During WW II, Dr. Jordan served in the Army where he was assigned to the Medical Nutrition Laboratory under the direction of the Surgeon General. There he studied the effects of cold temperatures on the body's nitrogen balance and hormone levels. In addition, he studied the use of intravenous fat for nutrition. While in the Army and working with Dr. Geza de Takats, a pioneer in vascular surgery, Dr. Jordan performed sympathectomy for the treatment of claudication- arterial obstruction in the leg. This procedure later became the subject of Dr. Jordan's first medical publication. After military service he returned to the University of Illinois and the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital to complete his residency. He trained under Dr. Charles Puestow who had created a surgical treatment for chronic pancreatitis. This was the beginning of Dr. Jordan's later interest in the pancreas and pancreatic surgical procedures.

In April 1946, Dr. Jordan married Lois Regnell whom he met when she too was a student at the University of Chicago. Their life together lasted seventy-three years until Lois' death in 2017. During that time, Dr. Jordan was invited by many academic centers around the world to present his research and share his surgical expertise. Paul and Lois traveled extensively and made many lifelong friends most of whom were likewise involved in medicine and medical research. Paul and Lois had three children, Kristine, Craig and Patricia.
In 1952, Dr. Jordan began working with Dr. Ormond C. Julian in the vascular surgery department. It was then that the two surgeons developed an alternative treatment for claudication, namely a femoral artery bypass using a vein graft. Their findings were presented in 1952 at the American Surgical Conference and published in 1953. This procedure was the beginning of vascular bypass surgery and was adopted by many surgeons.
Following the completion of his residency, Dr. Jordan joined Dr. William Longmire on the first surgical faculty at UCLA as chief of vascular surgery. There he continued his surgery and research on the pancreas along with experimenting with the use of fat emulsions for post-operative patient nutrition.

In 1958, Dr. Jordan was awarded a special National Institute of Health fellowship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden where he worked with Sune Bergstrom who subsequently was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. The year the family spent in Sweden was a very happy one for all of them. Many wonderful memories were created in Stockholm which the Jordan children still hold dear.
Following the year in Sweden, Dr. Jordan was appointed to the first surgical faculty at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he continued to teach, expand his research program, and perform surgery. In 1964 he accepted Dr. Michael DeBakey's offer to join the surgical staff at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Hospital in Houston, and he later became Chief of Surgery there. While in Houston Dr. Jordan continued his extensive medical research, performing surgery at both the VA Hospital and the Methodist Hospital. He was Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine where he taught countless surgical residents. In 1996, Dr Jordan was named professor emeritus at Baylor College of Medicine. He retired from his surgical practice at Methodist Hospital in 2000 at the age of 80.
During his lifetime, Dr. Jordan made many contributions to the field of medicine including but not limited to his work on claudication, fat emulsions, cold weather stress effects, the physiology of gastric secretion, the Whipple surgical procedure for pancreatitis, and the super selective vagotomy for ulcer disease.

In addition to his scientific research and surgical career, Dr. Jordan was a generous philanthropist and received the American College of Surgeon's Distinguished Philanthropist Award in 1999. During his lifetime he made substantial contributions to the University of Chicago Medical School Department of Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, Baylor College of Medicine, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Salvation Army.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, Dr. Jordan managed to accomplish great things. He was a humble man who cared deeply
for his patients.

Dr. Paul Jordan is survived by his three children, seven grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren.
Published by Houston Chronicle from Aug. 31 to Sep. 5, 2021.
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3 Entries
I was the Head Nurse on Ward 105 at the VA Medical Center from 1974 to 1985. Dr Jordan was the Attending Physician and he was the most caring and knowledge person for both the patients and staff. He was an excellent role model. And he also did two surgical procedures on my husband with great care and successful outcome.
Nelda Walkewicz
November 23, 2021
Dr. Jordan was my first attending on Ward 105 at the then VA Medical Center Houston. He was a demanding and compassionate physician who was dedicated to the Veterans and to medical education. We remained friends after completion of my residency and talked often in the Doctor's lounge at Methodist Hospital. He was a true mentor to me as a physician and educator, and will always be remembered with great fondness.
Robert Parke, M.D
September 7, 2021
Paul Jordan was my esteemed teacher when I was in training in general surgery in the late 1960's and he was always a gentleman and considerate of residents in an age when many surgeons were tyrants. In later years I always enjoyed our collegial relationship as fellow surgeons and members in the Houston Surgical Society as well as working together on occasional cases. A first class surgeon and friend.
Bob Wiemer
August 31, 2021
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