James H. Brandenburg, MD

Date of Passing: November 17, 2022

Regretfully, the Association was notified of the passing of Dr. James Brandenburg on November 17, 2022 at the age of 92 years old. Nominated for Active Fellowship in 1995 by Drs. DeSanto and Toohill, Dr. Brandenburg was active in attended the annual meetings and supported the Association financially. In 2003, he was granted emeritus status after retirement.

Born on July 17, 1930, Dr. Brandenburg was a true Wisconsin Badger as a life-long Wisconsin native. Dr. Brandenburg received his undergraduate degree in 1952 from the University of Wisconsin (UW) that was followed by his medical degree in 1956. He completed his residency training at the William Beaumont General Hospital (El Paso, Texas) and the Brooke General Hospital (San Antonio, Texas) in 1958 and 1961, respectively. Following active duty in the US Armey, (1956 – 1964, Dr. Brandenburg was recruited to UW Otolaryngology in 1964 as a faculty member. He restructured the otolaryngology residency which received formal approval in 1965. In 1968, he was appointed as the chair of otolaryngology at UW – Madison.

Dr. Brandenburg was a superb technical surgeon, performing the gamut of surgeries from delicate stapedectomies to large H&N oncologic cases. He was recognized as a strategic thinker—hosting radiotelephone conferences that served as the forerunner of telemedicine. Under his leadership, he established trainee rotations at the VA , Madison General Hospital, and the Gundersen clinic in LaCrosse. Dr. Brandenburg’s efforts helped to establish a head & neck cancer network throughout the state. He was instrumental in recruiting Dr. Chuck Ford and Dr. Diane Bless to the faculty prior to stepping down as chair in 1993. His many contributions to the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Otolaryngology – HNS will be long remembered by his colleagues and former students.

Dr. Brandenburg also had a distinguished military career and served our country for 4 decades with eight years on active duty in the US Army. He also served 27 years in the reserves as a flight surgeon and consultant to the FAA. His last active-duty tour was in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm where he was stationed in Germany for 5 months. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service and retired as a full colonel.

Dr. Brandenburg is survived by Nancy, his wife, and three children.