- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2006

James Leonard II, 81, cardiologist

Dr. James J. Leonard II, an internationally recognized cardiologist and former D.C. physician, died Dec. 16 at the Methodist Home of D.C. after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 81.

Born June 17, 1924, in Schenectady, N.Y., Dr. Leonard spent his formative years in Chevy Chase and graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1942.

He subsequently attended the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine at Georgetown University, graduating magna cum laude in 1950.

Dr. Leonard served his internship and residency at Georgetown University Hospital and did his fellowship training in the District, first in cardiology at Georgetown University Hospital and then in the pulmonary diseases division at D.C. General Hospital.

In 1956, Dr. Leonard served as a cardiac trainee at Duke University Medical School.

He subsequently served as an associate professor and director of cardiac laboratories at several universities, including the University of Texas, the Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1970, Dr. Leonard became chairman of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Medicine. Seven years later, he became the first chairman of medicine at the new medical school of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

He retired from that position in 1998.

Dr. Leonard’s research in cardiovascular physiology, particularly regarding the origin of heart sounds and murmurs, stands as classics in the field. His achievements won him membership in the Association of American Physicians and international recognition in cardiology.

He was a member of numerous academic and professional societies and organizations, including the American Federation for Clinical Research, the Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of University Cardiologists.

In 1985, Dr. Leonard was president of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine and was D.C. governor of the American College of Physicians from 1988 to 1992.

He was a leader and role model for a generation of young physician scientists, and through his training and mentorship helped shape the character and quality of medical practice.

Dr. Leonard is survived by sons James J. Leonard III of Towson, Md., William Jeffrey Leonard of Latrobe, Pa., and Paul Leonard of Atlanta; daughter Kathleen Beckstead of Salisbury, Md.; sister Teresa Beyer of Bethesda; nine grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

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