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Biographical entry House, Howard Payne (1907 - 2003)

Hon FRCS 1974; MD.

1 August 2003
Los Angeles, USA


Howard Payne House was a pioneering ear specialist. During his long career he treated thousands of patients, including Howard Hughes, Bob Hope and the former President, Ronald Reagan.

A graduate of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, House perfected the wire loop technique to replace the stapes bone of the middle ear and developed procedures to reconstruct middle ear parts. In 1946 he established the House Ear Institute as a research facility dedicated to the advancement of hearing research and education. A year later, he was appointed Chairman of the subcommittee on noise and directed the national study on industrial noise that set the Occupational Safety and Health Administration hearing conservation standards in use today. House was head of the department of otolaryngology at University of Southern California School of Medicine from 1952 to 1961 and served on the faculty as clinical professor of otology.

House received numerous awards and honorary degrees. He served as President of many professional associations in the US, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and the American Otological Society. He was awarded the University of Southern California's outstanding career service award, and was named a physician of the year by the California Governor's committee for employment of the handicapped.

House died from heart failure on 1 August 2003 at St Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles. He is survived by his sons, Kenneth and John, and his daughter Carolyn, and nine grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [University of Southern California HSC Weekly 8 August 2003, with portrait.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England