CardiologistRichard J. Bing

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As a boy, Bing studied to be a composer, but he decided being a doctor would be a more stable profession. He finished medical school in his native Germany, but fled when Hitler came to power, and got another medical degree in Bern. During a fellowship program he met aviator Charles Lindbergh, who helped him get a posting in the U.S. Here, he became a cardiologist, spending most of his career at the Huntington Memorial Research Institutes in Pasadena, Calif. He developed a method to measure the mechanical efficiency of the heart, which allowed him to study blood flow in the heart and other organs, leading to multiple life-saving discoveries. He wrote more than 500 medical journal articles, and in his spare time wrote music — more than 300 scores — and five novels. He worked into his 90s, and in 2000 Johns Hopkins University called Bing “one of the great cardiologists of our time.” He went by his middle name, John, in the U.S., and died at home November 8 at 101 years old — from heart disease.

From This is True for 14 November 2010