Urologist and collector. John Kingsley Lattimer was born October 14, 1914 in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and raised in New York City. He received his undergraduate (1935), medical (1938) and Doctor of Medical Science (1943) degrees from Columbia University. After service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II – during which he was one of the physicians assigned to provide care for the Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials – Lattimer returned to Columbia. He spent his entire career there and served as Chairman of the Department of Urology, 1955-1980.
Lattimer’s most notable scientific achievements were his development of a cure for renal tuberculosis and his role in the creation of pediatric urology. He authored 375 scientific articles and played a leading role in American urology. He was also a renowned collector of historical, military, and medical memorabilia. Lattimer created significant collections relating to Nazi leaders and American presidential assassinations as well as an important collection of armor and arms. He is probably best known for having acquired Napoleon’s penis. As a ballistics expert, he was the first nongovernmental physician allowed to examine the evidence from the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Besides his medical publications, Lattimer was the author of Kennedy and Lincoln: A Medical and Ballistic Comparison of Their Assassinations (1980); and Hitler’s Fatal Sickness and Other Secrets of the Nazi Leaders (1999).
Lattimer died in Teaneck, New Jersey, on May 10, 2007.