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John W. Brannan


Centurion, 1903–1936

Full Name John Winters Brannan

Born 14 February 1853 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Died 30 August 1936 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Fresh Pond Crematory and Columbarium, Middle Village, New York

Proposed by Charles Fairchild and Charles L. Dana

Elected 7 February 1903 at age forty-nine

Seconder of:

Century Memorial

Not all of his fellow-Centurions who met John Winters Brannan at the Club-house, where he was a constant visitor, knew of his great service to the hospitals of New York City. Always a pleasant and welcome companion, Brannan was the most modest of men regarding his own medical achievement. He left it for his professional colleagues to tell how, in 1900, convinced that the dilapidated buildings, crowded wards and inferior nursing service of the public hospitals was the direct outcome of politics, he attacked the political management. It was not an easy task, for Brannan demanded public hospital administration wholly divorced from Tammany and placed in the hands of physicians nominated by philanthropic societies. He had his way with governor and legislature, and his own name heads the list of new trustees appointed by Mayor Low. Brannan’s subsequent unselfish and disinterested work at Bellevue called for sacrifice of time and energy which sometimes amazed his medical associates; it resulted in complete renovation of the hospitals, in great increase of the funds appropriated for them, and in their wide extension of clinical work. But Brannan did not withhold himself from other activities. He enlisted in the World War at the age of sixty-four. At the Century, he had been a member of its admissions committee and governing board, where his quiet and friendly counsel was always of high value.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1937 Century Association Yearbook