James Byron Snow Jr., MD

Dr. James Byron Snow Jr.

March 12, 1932  –  May 28, 2022


 It is with a heavy heart that we notify you of the passing of Dr. James B. Snow Jr., on May 28, 2022 at his home in West Grove, Pennsylvania.  Dr. Snow was inducted as an Active Fellow in 1974, served with as the ALA President in 1990 and elevated to Emeritus status in 1995.

Born in Oklahoma City, his family moved to San Antonio, Texas while his father, a prominent pediatrician, was stationed at Brooke General Hospital during  World War II.  Receiving his undergraduate degree with distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 1953, Dr. Snow earned his M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1956 and completed his surgical internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital and his residency in otolaryngology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

On July 16, 1954, he married Sallie Lee Ricker in Tulsa, Oklahoma and from this union, two sons (James B. III, John Andrew) and one daughter, (Sallie) were born.

During 1960-61 he served as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Korea where he was the only otolaryngologist in the Eighth US Army. Following his military service, Dr. Snow joined the University of Oklahoma Medical Center faculty and rose to the rank of Professor and Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. In 1972, he assumed the same position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia.  He authored numerous books, including Introduction to Otorhinolaryngology, and Controversy in Otolaryngology, and edited several editions of Ballenger’s Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery including the 100th anniversary edition. Dr. Snow published more than 150 articles in professional and scientific journals describing his work on the pathophysiology of the inner ear, the olfactory system and the treatment of head and neck cancer with combined surgery and radiation therapy. In addition to his writings, he trained more than 80 specialists in his field.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Snow was active in organized medicine by serving as a Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology, Regent of the American College of Surgeons,  the Council on the AMA Scientific Affairs, President of the American Bronchoesophagological Association and the American Laryngological Association. He became the first Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health and successfully organized the new Institute. In 1991, Dr. Snow was inducted into the Society of Scholars of Johns Hopkins University, and in 1993 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Deafness Research Foundation. Dr. Snow received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award for his government service. Following retirement in 1997, he continued to be active in professional organizations. As a tribute to his service as Convener/Correspondent of the Tinnitus Research Consortium, the James B. Snow, Jr., M.D. Tinnitus Research Award was established in his honor by the Collegium Oto-Rhino-Laryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum. In 2003, he received the Award of Merit of the American Otological Society.

Sallie, his beloved wife of 53 years passed away in 2007. To cherish his life and fond memories are his children, James B. III; John Andrew; and Sallie with their families including five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, cousins and their descendants.

A Burial Service will be held at the Auditorium at the Alison Building at Jenners Pond, 2000 Greenbriar Lane, West Grove, PA, 19390 (610) 869-6801, at 10 a.m., on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. Memorial donations may be made to Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community Benevolent Fund, 2000 Greenbriar Lane, West Grove PA 19390, in Dr. Snow’s honor.