- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 4, 2006

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) — Dr. Charles Edwin Horton, a plastic surgeon and founder of the international humanitarian group Physicians for Peace, died Oct. 23 at his home after battling cancer. He was 81.

Dr. Horton became Hampton Roads’ first plastic surgeon when he moved to Norfolk in 1955. He was a pioneer in the field of genital reconstruction and specialized in correcting congenital deformities.

He also founded Eastern Virginia Medical School’s plastic surgery division.

But it was a medical mission to Haiti in the 1960s through his Rotary Club that changed his life.

In 1989, he founded Physicians for Peace, a nonprofit group that organizes teams of volunteer medical professionals to train their counterparts in underdeveloped countries.

Last year, the group went on 52 missions and donated more than $25 million in medical supplies and more than $2 million in medical services, said Ron Sconyers, the group’s chief executive officer.

Dr. Horton retired from his private practice in 2000 to work full time with Physicians for Peace. His salary was $1 a year.

Dr. Eid B. Mustafa, a member of the board of trustees at Physicians for Peace who practices in Wichita Falls, Texas, said Dr. Horton trained generations of plastic surgeons from all over the world.

“But he also realized that medicine is not everything, and to help people further, he realized that one has to address the big picture,” Dr. Mustafa said. “He went way above and beyond the line of medical duty.”

Dr. Juan Montero, a general and thoracic surgeon in Chesapeake, Va., called Dr. Horton a “true humanitarian.”

“To him, everybody was the same. He was colorblind,” said Dr. Montero, who also serves on the group’s board. “His genius in plastic surgery is matched by his love of his fellow man.”

Dr. Horton was born June 27, 1925, in Purdy, Mo.

He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia, completed his surgical residency at George Washington University Hospital and trained during the Korean War at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. It was there that Dr. Horton discovered his calling in plastic surgery.

Dr. Horton is survived by his wife and five children.

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