Photo: Dr. Theodore K. Lawless (b. Dec. 6, 1892 - d. May 1, 1971)
Dr. Theodore Kenneth "T.K." Lawless had an extensive knowledge of dermatology that made him one of the leading international skin specialists of his time.
EARLY LIFE AND TRAINING
He was born to Rev. Alfred Lawless and Harriet Dunn Lawless in Thibodeaux, Louisiana in 1892. Lawless became a committed philanthropist after completing extensive academic studies and achieving worldwide success in his medical practice.
He attended Talladega College in 1914 where he earned his B.A. In 1919, he obtained an M.D. from Northwestern University School of Medicine, and an M.A. in 1920 from Northwestern University. He studied dermatology at Columbia University in 1920 and attended Harvard University in 1921.
From 1921-22, Lawless studied at the University of Paris. From 1922-23, he studied at the University of Freiburg, and from 1923-24 he studied at the University of Vienna. He became a noted lecturer in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University in Chicago. He was also once a professor of physiology at Howard Medical School.
Dr. Lawless created Chicago's largest and most respected dermatology clinics in the heart of the African American community. Patients came from across the nation for his coveted services. The clinics where located in the T.K. Lawless Professional Building, located at 4300 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
Photo: T.K. Lawless Professional Buiding in Chicago at 4300 S. King Drive
His medical research contributed greatly towards establishing a cure to leprosy. His knowledge in dermatology and in the treatment of syphilis were used by both U.S. and European physicians. He served as a consultant to the U.S. Chemical Warfare Board. During World War II, he served on the Advisory Committee on venereal disease.
Dr. Lawless donated a research laboratory to Provident Hospital on the South Side of Chicago. A clinic in Israel was named after him to honor his $160,000 financial donations toward establishing a dermatology clinic (Lawless Department of Dermatology) at the Beilinson Hospital in Tel-Aviv, Israel. In 1954, Lawless was awarded the Spingarn Medal, the highest ranking NAACP award. By the 1960s, Ebony magazine listed Dr. Lawless among America's 35 Negro millionaires.