Born January 8, 1920, and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Leonard F. Peltier, MD, PhD, graduated from the University of Nebraska with an A.B. in 1941. He received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota (UM), in 1944. After graduation, Peltier served a general surgery internship under Owen H. Wangensteen, MD. After being commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army Medical Corps in 1946, Peltier was assigned to the 120th Station Hospital in Bayreuth, Germany, where he served as chief of surgery of a 500 bed hospital. After his discharge in 1948, Peltier returned to UM where he received his PhD in 1951. He then spent the next two years at UM doing an orthopedic surgery residency. At Minnesota he served as a John and Mary R. Markle Scholar in Medical Science from 1952-56.
Peltier was offered, and accepted the position as Professor of Surgery (orthopedics) and Chairman of the Section of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, in 1957. After serving as Head of the Section of Orthopedic Surgery at KU for fifteen years, he moved to Tucson in 1971, and established the orthopedic program at the new College of Medicine of the University of Arizona. There he was the Head of the Section of Orthopedic Surgery for fifteen years and served an additional period as acting head of the Department of Surgery before his retirement in 1990. He died in 2003.
During his lifetime, Dr. Peltier published nearly 200 scientific papers and several books, including
Many of his papers dealt with the history of surgery. He served on the editorial board of, or as a consultant to, several journals, including Surgery, Journal of Trauma, Journal of Surgical Oncology, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. A biography by Lo Vecchio, Reckling and Reckling, “Onward and Upward”: The Career Trajectory and Memories of Leonard F. Peltier, M.D., Ph.D., was published in 2004.
The Leonard F. Peltier Collection includes alphabetical subject files, articles, correspondence, biographies of notable people, artifacts pertaining to the History of Medicine, certificates and awards covering the period from ca. 1945-2000.