Due to technical difficulties, some of the video links in this website no longer work. We are uncertain as to when or if we will be able to correct these problems. However, the video clips constitute only a small portion of the material in this website. Moreover, the full transcripts of the oral histories from which the video clips were drawn can be found by following the "Resources" link below.

To Bear Fruit For Our Race College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

The Texas Medical Center (1927-1954, Section 7)

Photo of M. D. Anderson Aerial shot of the TMC

Left: Monroe Dunaway (MD) Anderson 1873-1939 (Courtesy of McGovern Historical Collections, Houston Academy of Medicine - Texas Medical Center Library)
Right: Aerial shot of the Texas Medical Center (Courtesy of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library)

In addition to a national economic boom, the war ushered in new growth in the field of medicine. Changes in medicine, discussed in detail in the next section, helped decrease the number of deaths attributable to contagious and infectious diseases. In turn, cancer and heart disease emerged as leading causes of death in the United States and the nation�s medical community responded in kind.

In 1941, the University of Texas received an appropriation of $500,000 from the Texas State Legislature to start a cancer research hospital. The M.D. Anderson Foundation provided matching funds as well as land in Houston for the facility. Philanthropist Monroe Dunaway Anderson had envisioned a medical complex of different hospitals, academic and research institutions, and support organizations. In 1945, the Texas state legislature created the Texas Medical Center (TMC). In 1946, the TMC identified institutions for inclusion under its umbrella, initially including:

Post card image of the Houston VA Hospital

Post card image of Houston VA Hospital, c. 1950(Courtesy of McGovern Historical Collections, Houston Academy of Medicine - TMC)

In 1944, President Roosevelt approved the purchase of 118 acres of land for the construction of a 1000-bed naval hospital in Houston. The United States Veterans Administration Hospital opened in 1946 to provide medical assistance to veterans. The first teaching facility for the Baylor University College of Medicine, the VA Hospital was soon integrated into the TMC.


  1. Marguerite Johnson, Houston: The Unknown City, 1836-1946 (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1991).

Center for Public History | Office: 524 Agnes Arnold Hall | (713) 743-3120