In Memoriam: Dewey K. Ziegler, MD, FAAN

September 14, 2012


Dewey K. Ziegler, MD, FAAN, who served as AAN president from 1979 to 1981, passed away on September 13, 2012, at his home in Prairie Village, KS. He was 92.

Former AAN President, Dewey K. Ziegler, MD, FAAN.

Ziegler’s tenure as AAN president was marked by significant changes to the education activities of the Academy, as he appointed Theodore Munsat, MD, FAAN, to lead the Special Course Committee and modernize offerings for the Annual Meeting and other CME opportunities.

Former AAN President Thomas R. Swift, MD, FAAN, recalled Ziegler as “a great man and a true gentleman. We could use more like him and he will be sorely missed.”

Ziegler was born in Omaha, NE. After receiving both his BA and MD from Harvard University, Ziegler did a three–month internship with Derek Denny–Brown at Boston City Hospital. The experience helped focus his interest on the brain. However, he was drafted and assigned to Navy hospitals in Bethesda, MD, and San Diego, CA. Because of a shortage of psychiatrists, he was assigned to that duty. After his discharge in 1948, be began two years of training with H. Houston Merritt at the New York Neurological Institute. He then did two years of psychiatry training at what is now Boston Mental Health Center. By the conclusion of this training, Ziegler opted for a career in neurology, and joined the faculty at Montefiore Hospital in New York.

In the mid–1950s, Ziegler was recruited by AAN founder A.B. Baker to become assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. But in time Ziegler decided to leave academia and set up private practice in Kansas City, KS. He took a part–time appointment at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1958. In 1966, he left private practice to work full time at the University of Kansas as chief of the neurology section until 1974, when he was named chair of the of neurology department. He served in that capacity until 1985.

Ziegler had an international reputation as an expert in migraine and other causes of headache. As professor emeritus, he continued his research and did teaching rounds with residents. Ziegler served on the editorial boards of Headache and Cephalalgia. Along with his leadership of the AAN, he also served as second vice–president, secretary, and member of the board of directors for the American Neurological Association.