Kurt Benirschke, MD (1924 - 2018)

Kurt Benirschke MD (1924 - 2018): Pioneer in Perinatal and Placental Pathology

Kurt Benirschke is a legendary figure in perinatal pathology and was likely the first pathologist to have a genuine interest in the placenta. Along with Shirley Driscoll, he wrote the first textbook on placental pathology – “The Pathology of the Human Placenta” which was first published in 1967, and has remained in print through several editions. Dr. Benirschke was not only a noted pathologist and geneticist, but he had expertise in the reproduction of humans and many mammalian species. During his career he advanced the field of perinatal pathology, producing more than 500 scientific publications, more than 100 book chapters and more than 30 books, including the internationally acclaimed text “Pathology of the Human Placenta,” now in its sixth edition. He received numerous honors and awards, including the Virginia Apgar Award in 1998 from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Merlin Perkins Award in 1998 by the American Zoological society. He was a member of numerous scientific societies, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.