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Biographical entry Zorab, Edward Crew (1909 - 1994)

MRCS 1933; FRCS by election 1967; MB BS 1933; DOMS 1935; FRCOphth; LRCP 1933.

28 October 1909
26 April 1994


Edward Zorab was born in Southampton on 28 October 1909, the second of six sons of Arthur Zorab, all ophthalmic surgeon, and Olive Parsons, the daughter of F J Parsons, the printer and publisher. He was educated at Cheltenham College, and then at Guy's Hospital Medical School where his father and four brothers also trained as doctors. He qualified in 1933 and subsequently trained in ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital under Affleck Greeves, Maurice Wilting and Charles Goulden. Later he took over his father's ophthalmic practice in Southampton, and after the outbreak of war he served in the RAMC in North Africa, Italy and Greece, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In 1945 he married his theatre sister, Janet Baillie, in Athens, and the following year returned to Southampton. With the inception of the NHS in 1948 he was appointed consultant ophthalmologist to Southampton Eye and the Royal South Hants Hospitals. He was elected FRCS in 1967 and served as President of the Faculty of Ophthalmologists (1971-74) and President of the Section of Ophthalmology of the Royal Society of Medicine (1973-75).

He became known to a wider public when he removed a fishhook from the eye of the American ambassador, Lewis Douglas. During the war he acquired valuable experience in trauma surgery and plastic surgical reconstruction, and he was a fine technician with a special interest in corneal transplantation.

He retired in 1975, but continued his private practice for a few years and enjoyed his interests of gardening and sailing. As a young man he had also played tennis for Hampshire.

He died peacefully at home aged 84 on 26 April 1994, survived by Janet, their three sons, Richard, Charles and David, and two daughters, Susan and Sarah.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1994 309 405, with portrait; The Times 31 May 1994].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England