- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Dr. William R. Kirtley, a medical researcher pioneer who helped develop drugs after World War II that greatly improved the lives of diabetics, has died at age 96.

Jane Kirtley said her father died Sunday at a hospital near his Hilton Head Island home after months of failing health.

Kirtley was part of a research team at Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis that conducted groundbreaking research on diabetes drugs after the war.

“My dad was proud of his work and what it meant for the lives of people with diabetes,” Jane Kirtley said Wednesday.

She says Kirtley helped refine injectable insulin and helped develop pills to help certain diabetics naturally produce insulin.

Kirtley won the Banting Medal from the American Diabetes Association in 1971.

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