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Biographical entry Lawrence, Kingsley (1924 - 2001)

MRCS 1946; FRCS 1951; MB BS London 1946; LRCP 1946; FCCP 1965; FACS 1965.

22 July 1924
10 June 2001
San Diego, USA
Cardiovascular surgeon, Specialist in addiction medicine and Thoracic surgeon


Kingsley Lawrance was born in London on 22 July 1924, into a Quaker family. His father, Henry, was a builder and contractor. His mother was Elsie Ruth née Ramsbotham. He was educated at Highgate School, from which he went to St Bartholomew's, qualifying in 1946. After a year on the house at Bart's, he went to Birmingham as a lecturer in anatomy, to study for and pass the FRCS. Despite his Quaker convictions, he felt he should offer his medical services, and did his National Service in the RAFVR, reaching the rank of squadron leader.

On demobilisation, he underwent training in thoracic surgery at the Brompton Hospital and St Bartholomew's, where he was much influenced by Lord Brock, J B Hume and A H Hunt. In 1955, he was appointed senior registrar to Phillip Allison at the General Infirmary at Leeds, who, in 1957, sent him to the National Heart Institute, Bethesda, as a visiting scientist to study the new methods of cardiac by-pass, then being introduced.

In 1961, he returned to the United States as an associate in surgery at the Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis, moving on to be clinical instructor in surgery at the University of California San Diego in 1969. There he was in private practice in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery for a decade, but began a period of alcohol addiction, for which he was successfully treated. Thereafter, he specialised in addiction medicine, undergoing further training and passing the appropriate boards.

He married Alison Frances née Mallett in 1952, by whom he had two sons, Simon and Nicolas, and one daughter, Karen. There are three grandchildren. This marriage ended in divorce in 1980. He married for a second time, to Patricia Nelson, in 1992, but the marriage also ended in divorce within a year. He was close to his stepson, Evan. He died on 10 June 2001 in San Diego, California.

Sources used to compile this entry: [San Diego Union Tribune 16 June 2001, online edition].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England