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BMJ. 2007 June 2; 334(7604): 1171.
PMCID: PMC1885330

Richard Wolff Emanuel

Richard Emanuel, among the most distinguished cardiologists of his generation, was physician and lecturer at the Middlesex and National Heart Hospitals in London and civil consultant to the Royal Air Force.

Born in Birmingham, his upbringing was rooted in medicine and service to others. His father was J G Emanuel, professor of medicine, Queen's Hospital Birmingham, and his mother Ethel Emanuel, an early chair of the Family Planning Association.

He was educated at Bradfield and Oriel College, Oxford , moved to London, and married in 1950. He created a pioneering database on the genetic aspects of heart disease and Marfan's syndrome in the early days of the Institute of Cardiology (now National Heart and Lung Institute).

His international reputation in teaching and research was acknowledged by membership and honorary medical degrees from numerous cardiovascular societies and universities. Overseas universities constantly sought his help requiring extensive travel to destinations as diverse as Singapore, Philippines, Sudan, and Thailand. He was awarded the Order of the Crown of Pahang, bestowed for medical services.

Emanuel's meticulous attention to detail and his great charm and kindness in improving the way of life of many epitomised all that is best in the practice of medicine, and this was fondly remembered by his patients, many of whom stayed in touch long after his retirement. His peers and juniors respected and sought out his knowledge and experience, which he willingly shared.

He was a keen fisherman and an acknowledged expert in English 18th century pedestal stem drinking glasses.

He leaves a wife, Lavinia; three sons; and six grandchildren.


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