Dr. Friedenberg, Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Zachary B. Friedenberg, professor of orthopaedic surgery in the School of Medicine, passed away January 27, 2011 at age 95.

Born in New York City, Dr. Friedenberg was a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.

Following an internship at Kings County Hospital, New York City, Dr. Friedenberg served in World War II as a surgeon in the 95th Evacuation Hospital, an advanced army field hospital, in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany and participated in three D-day landings. He was honored with the European Theater Ribbon, the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque and the American Defense Service Medal.

After his military experience, he came to the University of Pennsylvania, where he trained as an orthopaedic resident and fellow from 1945 to 1949. He then joined the faculty, where he attained the rank of full professor in 1970. He was also chief of orthopaedic surgery at Presbyterian Medical Center and Chester County Hospital, and maintained a private practice.

While at Penn, he was an early researcher in the electrical healing of bone fractures by direct current stimulation, and was a co-author of many papers on this and a multitude of other subjects. He taught many medical students, interns and residents, and set up the Clinician Scientist Award of the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation, designed to assist practicing surgeons in devoting time to research. In 2002, he played a prominent part in the development of a film produced by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, entitled Wounded in Action. The film documents the role of orthopedic surgeons in World War II and is part of an art exhibit of the same name that celebrates those who served. He was also instrumental in the development of the documentary, A Legacy of Heroes.

Dr. Friedenberg published numerous books on medical history, including The Doctor in Colonial America, Medicine Under Sail, Hospital at War: The 95th Evacuation Hospital in World War II, Surgery Over The Centuries and Magic, Miracles, and Medicine, published in late 2010.

Dr. Friedenberg is survived by his wife, Kathleen; a son, Steven; a daughter, Joan Hayden; brothers, Stanley and Richard; a sister, Vivian Gluck; two grandchildren, Christopher and Samantha; and nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.