An Interview with John H. Musgrove, October 30, 1974

An Interview with John H. Musgrove, October 30, 1974



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An Interview with John H. Musgrove

By Don Macon

October 30, 1974

Introduction of John H. Musgrove and Overview of Impact at MD Anderson

B: MD Anderson Past

Story Codes

B: Building/Transforming the Institution

00:03 - Start of video: 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.

Birthplace, Early Years and Employment Prior to MD Anderson

A: Professional Path

Story Codes

A: Obstacles, Challenges

03:00 – 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.

A: Influences from People and Life Experiences

06:46 – 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.

Initial Work For, and the Early Years of, the MD Anderson Cancer Institute

B: MD Anderson Past

Story Codes

A: Joining MD Anderson

10:45 – 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.

C: Collaborations

15:48 - First reference to Mrs. Musgrove, discussion of young executive in-field training practices, “all this moving around” (career-wise) and teamwork within marriage.

B: Building/Transforming the Institution

18:45 – 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.

Mr. Musgrove’s Evolving Responsibilities Under the Leadership of Dr. R. Lee Clark

A: The Administrator

Story Codes

B: Growth and/or Change

23:03 – 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 Medical Center incorporated.

A: Career and Accomplishments

25:12 – 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.


B: MD Anderson Culture

Story Codes

A: Post Retirement Activities

29:49 – 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.

32:10 - End of video. MD Anderson logo.

An Interview with John H. Musgrove, October 30, 1974