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Meet Dr. Lud Deppisch, The Author of “The Health of the First Ladies”

Dr. Lud Deppisch, The Health of the First LadiesLudwig (Lud) Deppisch M.D. is a board certified pathologist and medical historian. His history interests include the health and medical care of United States presidents, the doctor-patient relationship of the physicians who provided that care, and the ethics and responsibilities of these doctors. Recently his attention has focused upon the health and medical treatment of America’s First Ladies, including the confidentiality of their medical histories and whether their illnesses affected their presidential husbands.

A native of New York City where he received his undergraduate education at Fordham University. Deppisch received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. During his pathology career, he was active in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate pathology education. At present he is Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the Northeastern Ohio Medical University and a Clinical Lecturer in Pathology at the University of Arizona School of Medicine (Tucson).

In addition to his hospital pathology practice and his teaching activities, Deppisch gained national recognition for his expertise in gastrointestinal and gynecologic pathology.

For almost twenty-five years, Deppisch has given seminars, lectures and courses on the health of United States presidents. He continued this interest after moving to Tucson, Arizona, where he received a Masters in American History degree from the University of Arizona.

Deppisch’s second book, The Health of the First Ladies, was published in early 2015. He continues to live in Arizona with his wife, children and grandchildren. Together they enjoy birding, travel, and music. He is currently at work on his third book.

Dr. Lud Deppisch, The Health of the First Ladies

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Dr. Lud Deppisch, The Health of the First Ladies

The Health of the First Ladies:

Medical Histories from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama

This first comprehensive study of the medical histories of America’s first ladies–from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama–discusses their illnesses, their treatments and their physicians in the context of their times. As the categories of illness afflicting Americans have changed through history so have the kinds of maladies affecting the first ladies. Infectious diseases and the consequences of poorly supervised pregnancies have been replaced by cerebrovascular accidents and malignancies.

The secrecy with which the White House has traditionally handled inquiries about the health of the president’s wife is explored in detail; however, several first ladies, notably Betty Ford, have been transparent about their illnesses in order to educate the public. The effects of a first lady’s responsibilities on her health is examined. This book also seeks to discern how the well-being of the first lady influences presidential performance.


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