William C. Roberts, MD, a physician at Baylor University Medical Center, died peacefully on June 15, 2023, at his home in Dallas, 90 years of age, of renal cell cancer. He had a distinguished career as a cardiovascular pathologist, a medical journal editor, and an advocate of preventive health.
Bill Roberts was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 11, 1932, and raised on a farm in nearby Stone Mountain. From his father, Stewart R. Roberts, MD, the first cardiologist in the South, he inherited an instinct for scholarship and expression. From his mother, Ruby Viola Holbrook, one of 14 children, he inherited an instinct for honesty and temperance.
He graduated from Henry Grady High School in Atlanta (1950), Southern Methodist University (1954), and Emory University School of Medicine (1958), then underwent 6 years of residency training: Boston City Hospital (intern), the National Institutes of Health (4 years) and The Johns Hopkins Hospital (1 year).
Over the next 60 years (1964-2023), he focused on cardiovascular pathology, the first 30 years at NIH in Bethesda and the second 30 years at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He studied the heart and blood vessels collected from the autopsy suite and the operating room. His careful analysis of cardiovascular specimens bore fruit in the publication of hundreds of articles and dozens of books. In speaking engagements around the world, he advised keeping cholesterol levels low to prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
For 40 years (1982-2022) he also served as editor in chief of The American Journal of Cardiology and for 29 years (1993-2022) as editor in chief of the Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings. His numerous awards include 3 from the American College of Cardiology: Gifted Teacher Award in 1978, Master designation in 2004, and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
His manner was humble, his accent Southern, his intellect hungry, his viewpoint independent, and his heart loyal and generous. He was beloved by family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. He was married to the late Carey Cansler Roberts and is survived by 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
A family ceremony in September at Oxford Memorial Cemetery in Oxford, Georgia, is planned.
Tributes in his honor would be gratefully received by the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation (DallasFoundation@BSWHealth.org) or the Roberts Foundation, which he founded (firstname.lastname@example.org).
William Clifford Roberts, MD
The Roberts Foundation Founded By William C. Roberts, MD
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