Society News

ASN Society News - January 2011

Death of Mr. Ronald Lee Herrick, Pioneer Transplant Donor

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ronald Lee Herrick died Monday, December 27, 2010, at age 79, in Augusta, Maine.

Mr. Herrick, a math teacher for almost four decades, donated his kidney to his twin brother, Richard, on December 23, 1954, in what is recognized as the world's first successful organ transplant. Ronald's courageous act helped change the face of medicine by advancing development of the field of organ transplantation. This revolutionary surgery took place 56 years ago at what is now the Brigham and Women's Hospital and was performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray. Dr. John Merrill, one of the founders of the discipline of Nephrology and chief of the Renal Division at the Brigham, was a member of the team caring for transplant recipients including Mr. Herrick.

Receiving a kidney from his brother allowed Richard to live an additional eight years. The American Society of Nephrology gratefully acknowledges Mr. Herrick's major contribution to medicine.

Joseph V. Bonventre, MD, PhD, FASN
President, American Society of Nephrology