Find more content written by:  J. R. Trautman
  • Volume 62 , Number 1
  • Page: 148

Dr. George Liddle Fite 1904-1993

J. R. Trautman


Dr. George Liddle Fite, 89, died of pneumonia on 29 September 1993 in McKensie, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Dr. Fite was born in Austin, Texas. He graduated from Haverford College, Pennsylvania, and Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, and later taught at Johns Hopkins and Northwestern Universities. He joined the staff of The Rockefeller Institute prior to entering the United States Public Health Service in 1937. He was assigned to Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii, until 1941, then to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. In 1948 he transferred to the Carville Public Health Service facility (now known as the Gillis W. Long Hansen's Disease Center).

In 1952, and until 1956, he served again at NIH. He then returned to Carville where he was appointed Director of Research and Chief of the Laboratory Research Branch, positions which he held until his retirement from the Public Health Service (PHS) in 1965. His research efforts had been concentrated in large part on the histopathology of leprosy, and among his accomplishments was his contribution as principal developer of the Fite stain (Fite-Faraco), an excellent method for demonstrating acid-fast bacilli, including Mycobacterium leprae . He also was a prolific writer and renowned speaker.

After leaving the PHS, Dr. Fite became Senior Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association in Chicago. He retired from that position in 1975, moved to Bethesda, and later to McKensie.

Dr. Fite was a member of the Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists, the American Pathological Association, the International Leprosy Association, an honorary member of the Pacific Dermatologic Association, and was past president of the Philatelic Society of Washington.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Carolyn Wrinkle Fite, by his son, Richard Fite, by four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.


- J. R. Trautman

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