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Biographical entry Sandor, Francis Ferenc (1905 - 1994)

MRCS and FRCS 1959; MD Budapest 1930; DOS 1932; LRFPS Glasgow 1952; FRCS Edinburgh 1952.

13 July 1905
23 February 1994
General practitioner, General surgeon and Thoracic surgeon


Francis Sandor was born in Budapest on 13 July 1905. His father, Ignac, was a businessman in Budapest and his mother, Jenni Cipszer, was a teacher. He left Hungary with the advent of Communism and went back to medical school in Edinburgh and re-qualified as LRFPS (Glasgow) in 1952. He originally trained in medicine in Budapest with an MD in 1930 and a diploma in operative surgery in 1932, and then studied in Paris. He was at first chief of surgery at the Cancer Hospital and at St Rokus Hospital, Budapest. After he left Hungary in 1950 he initially trained in Glasgow and Edinburgh and ultimately settled in Hartlepool as an assistant surgeon. After twenty years of surgery in Britain he retired to go on to do another ten years as a general practitioner in Hartlepool, at the same time continuing his research into thoracic trauma in the department of surgery at Newcastle University.

Sandor was a man of great enthusiasm. He spoke four European languages fluently and was competent in even more. He had a composite understanding of Latin and Greek and was a classical scholar of note. He was a dedicated skier until the age of 78. He was a great music lover and played the violin. As a young man he went to all the concerts around the North East and would be regularly met there, listening particularly to string quartets. At heart a musician, his love and understanding of music was unsurpassed.

His particular clinical interest in later life was the effect of major trauma on intra-thoracic organs, and he published articles on traumatic mediastinal haematoma in both English and German language publications.

He married Mimi Garai, a dietician, in 1940 and they had three sons. The first, Stephen Mathew, became a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in Portland, Oregon; the second, Peter Ivan, became an analytical chemist in Newcastle-upon- Tyne and the third, George Gabor, became a Professor of Paediatric Cardiology at the University of British Columbia.

He was credited with an ascent to the top of the medical profession in both Hungary and England after he decided to flee to the West.

He died on 23 February 1994, survived by his wife and family.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1994 309 51, with portrait; private memories and reminiscences from his son, George Sandor].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England