CooR, Robert E. Cooke Collection in the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


Collection Overview

Repository:Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Creator:Cooke, Robert E.
Call number:CooR
Title:Robert E. Cooke Collection
Extent:55 linear feet

Scope and Content:
The Robert E. Cooke Collection spans his entire career at Johns Hopkins, emphasizing his tenure as chairman of the department of pediatrics. Series include departmental correspondence (in subject files), patient correspondence, speeches, manuscripts, financial records, and reprints. These records are a resource for studying mid-twentieth-century efforts to find new approaches to mental retardation and childhood birth defects. Substantial portions of the collection document the development of the Head Start program and the Kennedy Institute for Handicapped Children.

Administrative/Biographical History
Robert E. Cooke was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He earned his B.S. at Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1941 and his M.D. at the Yale School of Medicine in 1944. He completed his internship and residency at New Haven Hospital but interrupted this period of training to serve two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. In 1950, Cooke joined the faculty in pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine. In 1956, he came to Johns Hopkins as professor and chair of the pediatrics department. At Johns Hopkins, Cooke designed and implemented novel programs that complemented the care in the Children's Medical and Surgical Center, including a program that brought better medical care to inner-city mothers and their children. He also directed the Kennedy Program for Research into the Etiology of Mental Retardation. This work covered a broad approach to the prenatal, neonatal, and postnatal causes of mental retardation, including viral disorders, biochemical aberrations, and neonatal chemical injuries. Cooke played a major role in the development of the Kennedy Institute for Handicapped Children, a center for the habilitation of the handicapped, and served as its first director.