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Musgrove (John), An Interview with John Musgrove by Don Macon, October 30, 1974: Home

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An Interview with John H. Musgrove
By Don Macon
October 30, 1974

 

Interview Processed by: 

Jim Thompson, HRC Volunteer, Spring 2019


 

Chapter Summaries


Chapter 1  (MD Anderson Past)
Introduction of John H. Musgrove and Overview of Impact at MD Anderson   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Building/Transforming the Institution

First in a series of discussions with MD Anderson pioneers in the establishment and development of the University of Texas MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute.  In 1941 the State of Texas legislature passed legislation for the establishment of a cancer research hospital in Texas.  Mr. Musgrove started in December 1942 on the “pilot project of the MD Anderson cancer research program at the temporary location of “The Oaks,” a six acre former home on Baldwin Street of Captain James A. Baker, attorney and philanthropist.  Beginning of the cancer research program.



Chapter 2  (Professional Path)
Birthplace, Early Years and Employment Prior to MD Anderson, Part 1   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Obstacles, Challenges

Born in Commerce Texas.  Early years as a part of farm family, worked at night in a bakery in Mt. Pleasant.  Worked for Burris Mill, a grain elevator company, in Ft. Worth, in sales in northeast Texas.  Had “problem with my physical build-up and had to have it corrected” and when released by his physician he was let go because “I was not insurable” (Burris had surplus labor).  Note reference to “plenty of good men to choose from, not somebody with a problem” with respect to his health issue/disability.



Chapter 2  (Professional Path)
Birthplace, Early Years and Employment Prior to MD Anderson, Part 2   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Influences from People and Life Experiences

Found a job in Austin with the State of Texas Park System as an auditor/accountant.  Followed a friend, who worked for the State Auditor’s Office and audited his work, to work at the UT Medical School (Medical Branch) in Galveston, which was headed by Dr. Chauncey D. Leake.



Chapter 3  (MD Anderson Past)
Initial Work For, and the Early Years of, the MD Anderson Cancer Institute, Part 1   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Joining MD Anderson

MD Anderson Cancer Institute at the Baker Estate was initially planned to be a part of the medical school in Galveston, and December 12, 1942 was the “starting date.”  Dr. E. W. Bertner was the acting director of the Cancer Hospital, and Mr. Musgrove was supervised by Dr. Carroll D. Simmons who was comptroller/business manager, as well as professor, of the University of Texas.



Chapter 3  (MD Anderson Past)
Initial Work For, and the Early Years of, the MD Anderson Cancer Institute, Part 2   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Collaborations

First reference to Mrs. Musgrove, discussion of young executive in-field training practices, “all this moving around” (career-wise) and teamwork within marriage.



Chapter 3  (MD Anderson Past)
Initial Work For, and the Early Years of, the MD Anderson Cancer Institute, Part 3   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Building/Transforming the Institution

Mansion and group of outbuilding converted to research laboratories, people and materials shortage in height of WW2.  Slow start to transformation of Baker Estate.  Architectural firm had plans but had government work of higher priority.  “Norman Binz and Jack Lander” construction firm managed the renovation.  Dr. Bertner’s qualities discussed, and with the voluntary staff, were together “anxious” to establish the new cancer practice. 



Chapter 4  (The Administrator)
Mr. Musgrove’s Evolving Responsibilities Under the Leadership of Dr. R. Lee Clark, Part 1   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Growth and/or Change

First reference to Mrs. Musgrove, discussion of young executive in-field training practices, “all this moving around” (career-wise) and teamwork within marriage.



Chapter 4  (The Administrator)
Mr. Musgrove’s Evolving Responsibilities Under the Leadership of Dr. R. Lee Clark, Part 2   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Career and Accomplishments

Discussion of Dr. R. Lee Clark naming as MD Anderson permanent director, surgeon and chief after a search process in 1946 and Dr. Bertner’s move to become the first president of the Texas. 

Mr. Musgrove’s evolving responsibilities and positions throughout the rest of his career at MD Anderson, from the Baker Estate conversion, Assistant to Business Manager, Superintendent and Business Manager.  In 1954, Joe E. Boyd, who was formerly a member of the University of Texas internal auditing staff, as finance officer took over Mr. Musgrove’s administrative duties and Mr. Musgrove became Procurement and Supply Officer.

 



Chapter 5  (MD Anderson Culture)
Summary/Wrap-Up   (listen/read)

Codes

  • Post Retirement Activities

Discussion of Mr. Musgrove’s retirement and points out that he enjoyed his work and family-like associations very much at MD Anderson and “in my capacities” was well-paid and well-received in the institution.