Heneage Ogilvie was born in Valparaiso, Chile, July 14, 1887. His father was an engineer from Dundee who had been in Chile for business reasons. Ogilvie was educated at Clifton College and New College, Oxford, where he gained first class honors in physiology. He then entered Guy's Hospital for his medical training and obtained his FRCS in 1920.Ogilvie was recognized as a technically great surgeon. His primary interests were surgery of the gastrointestinal tract and orthopedics. He was one of the very few medical men of his generation to serve in three wars: the Balkan War of 1902-1903 and the two world wars. He rose to the rank of Major General and was the Consultant Surgeon to the East Africa Force in 1941. One of his most remembered admonitions was to require the performance of a colostomy for all wounds of the colon (Abdominal wounds in the western desert. Surg Gynecol Obstet 1944;78:225-238). It was for his military service that he was appointed Knight of the British Empire in 1946.He was considered a brilliant essayist and authored several books which provided some of the finest medical writing. He was also responsible for the first two editions ofRecent Advances in Surgery. Ogilvie had an international reputation, and many visiting surgeons attended his theatre sessions. Travel and yachting occupied his leisure time. He founded the Surgical Travelers' Club and was Commodore of the Oxford University Sailing Club and the United Hospitals Sailing Club.The condition for which Ogilvie's name is eponymously associated is the article selected for this “Classics” presentation. The author describes two cases of colonic ileus that he attributes to sympathetic deprivation caused by invasion by tumor. Since the publication of this article, numerous predisposing causes for the development of colonic ileus have been suggested.In his obituary notice from theBritish Medical Journal, Ogilvie was described as “a curious mixture of shrewdness and ingenuousness. There was always something of the innocence and wonder of a child about him, and it was this trait in his character that made him so sensitive to the inevitable blows of life.” Among his many distinctions were honorary fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and the American College of Surgeons.Ogilvie died on April 15, 1971, at the age of 83.
© The ASCRS 1987