To the Editor:—
Your biographer (208:857, 1969) confused the lives of two great men, John Hughes Bennett (1812-1875) and his son Alexander Hughes Bennett (1848-1901 ). Both were prominent, each in his own right, and do not need to be combined to make a good story. The first part of the article dealt with the father, and the second part with the son.Jurgen Thorwald in his excellent book, The Triumph of Surgery, New York: Pantheon Books, 1960, in a well-thought-out story on the first successful removal of a brain tumor diagnosed by neurological means, reveals that John Hughes Bennett died of a brain tumor that could have been removed surgically, had the knowledge and means been at hand. This event apparently influenced his son Alexander to prevail upon Sir Rickman Godlee-Lister's nephew, to operate in November 1884, some nine years later, upon a malignant glioma, thus originating modern neurosurgery.