W. Gordon Walker, MD, FACP
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Dr W. Gordon Walker, a physician, scientist, clinical researcher, public health policy leader, and medical educator died in Baltimore, Maryland, on October 5, 2004, from pulmonary fibrosis. During his 53-year career, Gordon contributed to the world of medicine a better understanding of potassium physiology and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, public policy to make renal replacement therapy available on a universal scale in the United States, and the relationship of hypertension and nutrition to progressive renal failure. He trained numerous physicians to whom he imparted Osler standards of excellence in clinical and academic medicine.
Born and raised in Lena, Louisiana, he was the grandson of a country doctor who practiced in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. His college education was received at Louisiana State University. On returning from the Navy at the end of World War II, he married his sweetheart of many years, Betty Couch of New Orleans, and entered the Tulane University School of Medicine under the GI Bill. With Betty supporting them, he focused on medical school, finishing at the top of his class as a member …