Edgar Rice Updegraff was born March 1, 1922 in Boone, Iowa. His father and brothers were all otolaryngologists, but Ed "went off on another slant, much to my father's chagrin." He went to medical school at the University of Iowa, where he was mentored by Dr. Nathan Alcock (notable resectionist), whom he called "an interesting little guy" and a bullfight enthusiast. But Ed was still considering ENT as a career and didn't find urology particularly attractive.
He did his rotating internship at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospitals in Los Angeles because he wanted to see California, but was then sent to work in a veteran's hospital in Florida by the Army; there he was assigned to a urology ward working with Abraham Gorday. After two years there Ed decided to look for a urology residency and ended up back at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital with Karl Rochet, Elmer Belt, and Tracey Powell. Ed found that though his mentors got to do a lot of surgery, he did not get to do much, so he left California in 1951 for Tucson, Arizona because he liked golf.
In fact, Ed Updegraff started shooting in the 70s at the age of 12 and won the 1938 State High School Golf Championship. He went on to win 3 Northwest Amateurs in 1940, 1941, and 1947, the North Central Amateur, and was the low amateur at the 1941 Waterloo Open. In Tucson Ed continued to win at amateur golf and in 1999 he received the United States Golf Association's Bob Jones Award, given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in the golf. A list of his golf career highlights can be found by clicking here.
But golf and urology proved to coexist peacefully in Ed's life. When he went to take his Boards in LA, Dr. Robert Herbst (past AUA President) stormed in and demanded of Ed, "Do you play golf?" Ed thought it might be the end of his career as a urologist but admitted that he did. Dr. Herbst simply admitted that he did too but was not very good, and after half an hour of quizzing Ed Updegraaf had passed his Boards. He started his own private practice in 1968 and in 1972 Drs. Korker and Schweitzer joined him to become Southwestern Urology. Ed Updegraff believes the last 15 years of his practice were the most pleasant of his career as he enjoyed working with his partners and being captain of several Cup teams.
The entire Updegraff interview as conducted by Dr. Michael Moran, who currently works at Southwestern Urology can be read here or heard here.