Dr. George H. Rawls

Dr. George H. Rawls
(6/2/1928 – 3/16/2020)

A native of Gainesville, Florida, George H. Rawls graduated from Florida A&M University, the valedictorian of his class. There he also met his wife, Lula, and they were married in 1951. In 1952, he graduated from the Howard University Medical School and completed his surgical internship at Philadelphia General Hospital. He then served two years in the U.S. Army before completing his residency at the VA hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

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Upon moving with his wife and three young daughters to Indianapolis in 1959, Dr. Rawls became one of the first Black surgeons in the area. He continued to practice for 34 years and became involved in teaching Clinical Surgery at the IU School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Rawls served as president of several medical organizations, including the Marion County Medical Society, the Indiana State Medical Society, and the Aesculapian Medical Society, a group focused on the health needs of the African-American community.

Upon retiring from active practice in 1993, Dr. Rawls continued to teach and develop numerous programs and scholarships aimed at helping minority students enter the medical profession at the IU School of Medicine, the Howard University School of Medicine, and at Florida A&M University. He was devoted member and elder at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church and served on the boards of The Children’s Museum, The Urban League, Flanner House, Goodwill Industries, and the Indianapolis Zoo. He was also active in the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities, and the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.

Dr. Rawls enjoyed traveling, was an avid golfer, and a Diamond Life Master bridge player, and cherished the time he spent with his wife and family. He was also a prolific author and published: So You Want to be a Doctor; Papa, I want to be a Surgeon; The History of the Black Physician in Indianapolis: 1870-2000, The Surgeon’s Turn, and Managing Cancer: The African-American’s Guide to Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Location: Section 61, Lot 19 (The Crown); GPS (39.8194179,-86,1769439)