Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project Washington University School of Medicine Bernard Becker Medical Library
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Benjamin Milder

Interviewer: Paul G. Anderson Benjamin Milder
Date: November 9, 2006
Identifier: OH118
Approximate Length: 282 min.
Biographical Information: Born in 1915, in St. Louis, Missouri, Benjamin Milder graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in 1939.

A longtime clinician and teacher in the department of ophthalmology he authored a number of academic and scholarly publications.

The Fine Art of Prescribing Glasses Without Making a Spectacle of Yourself, which he co-authored with Melvin L. Rubin, won the American Medical Writers Association's Best New Book of the Year Award in 1979 and went into its third edition in 2004.

He was recruited to write the history of the department of ophthalmology, On the Shoulders of Giants: the Story of the Washington University Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 1997.

He has also authored more than one thousand poems of light verse and has published seven books of poetry, The Good Book Says...: Light Verse to Illuminate the Old Testament, 1995; The Good Book Also Says...: Numerous Humorous Poems Inspired by the New Testament, 1999; Love Is Funny, Love Is Sad, 2002; The Zoo You Never Gnu: A Mad Menagerie of Bizarre Bests and Birds, 2004; What's So Funny About the Golden Years, 2008; and From Adolescence to Senescence: A Life in Light Verse, 2010.

Milder taught poetry workshops at Washington University and at the Palm Beach Community College Institute of New Dimensions, as well as a light-verse discussion course entitled "Ogden Nash is Alive and Well and Living in the Twentieth Century," at the Washington University Lifelong Learning Institute.

He is currently Professor Emeritus of Clinical Ophthalmology at Washington University School of Medicine.
Summary: Milder discusses growing up in St. Louis and his career as an ophthalmologist. He reminisces about his classmates and professors at medical school, the history of the practice of ophthalmology in St. Louis, and talks about some of his published books.
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