Charles F. McCuskey, M.D.*
CHARLES F. McCUSKEY, M.D.
Dr. Charles F. McCuskey was elected President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in
1948 and received the ASA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1953.
Born in West Virginia, Dr. McCuskey obtained his M.D. from the University of Tennessee in
1918, serving an internship at the Memphis General Hospital and the U.S. Naval Base Hospital.
In World War I he enlisted as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and served as a medical officer on
the Destroyer Flotilla B, being released from active duty in 1919.
After further training at the Mayo Foundation, University of Minnesota, he became an Associate
Professor of Anesthesia at the University of Minnesota from 1925 to 1933. He then moved west
and was appointed Associate Professor of Anesthesia at the College of Medical Evangelists,
where he served from 1933 to 1939. Then he was appointed Professor of Anesthesia and Head of
the Department at the University of Southern California from 1939 to 1958, then becoming
In World War II he enlisted for active duty in 1941 and in the following year became Chief of
Anesthesia and Operating Room Service at the Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco,
where he was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel. He served as Consultant in Anesthesia in the
Pacific Ocean Areas in 1945, being released from active duty in 1946. Thus, Dr. McCuskey had
the unique distinction of serving an active role in both World War I and II.
Throughout his career Dr. McCuskey played a leading role in the promotion of anesthesia goals
in the country. He was a member of the American Board of Anesthesiology from 1940 to 1953,
becoming President of this organization from 1949-53. He was a member of the Medical
Advisory Group of the Veterans Administration from 1946 to 1953. He was appointed to the
Senior Staff and/or the Consultant Staff of several hospitals in the Los Angeles area.
Bulletin of Anesthesia History. 1998;16(3).