Alabama Academy of Honor


Walter Benedict Frommeyer, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1997.



Walter Benedict Frommeyer, educator and physician, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 23, 1916. He received his A.B. degree form the University of Cincinnati in June 1939 and his M.D. degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine in June 1942.

Dr. Frommeyer served his internship at the Cincinnati General Hospital from 1942 to 1943. After finishing his internship, he served in the Medical Corps of the Army of the United States until 1946, starting as first lieutenant and leaving as a major. While in service he was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart. After discharge from the army, Dr. Frommeyer resumed his medical career as assistant resident in medicine at the Cincinnati General Hospital until 1948.

After finishing his residency, Dr. Frommeyer was a research fellow at Thorndike Memorial Laboratory at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, until 1949. At the same time he was also assistant in medicine at the Harvard Medical School. In 1950 he became director of the University of Alabama Tumor Clinic at the Jefferson-Hillman Hospital and became Chief of Medical Service at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Birmingham in 1953. In addition, form 1951 to 1952, he was director of the blood bank at the Jefferson-Hillman Hospital.

Concurrent with his duties at the Jefferson-Hillman Hospital, he held progressively important assignments in the University of Alabama School of Medicine including instructor of medicine from 1953 to 1951, assistant professor of medicine from 1951 to 1953, associate professor of medicine from 1953 to 1957, associate dean from 1954 to 1957, and dean's committee, Birmingham Veterans Administration Hospital from 1954 to 1959.

In 1957 Dr. Frommeyer was professor of medicine and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He held this position until 1968. At the same time he was physician-in-chief of the University Hospital and Hillman Clinic. He was co-chairman of the Medical and Dental staff from 1962 to 1966; chief-of-staff of the Alabama Journal of Medical Sciences from 1974 to date; and director of Affirmative Action Office at the School of Medicine from 1974 to present.

He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, Pi Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Xi, and Omicron Delta Kappa fraternities. In addition, Dr. Frommeyer was active in many medical associations holding offices from president to chairman of both committees and boards. Some of the associations are the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Family Practice, Association of American Physicians, Association of Professors of Medicine, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, American Federation for Clinical Research, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Medical Association, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Jefferson County Medical Society, secretary of the Internal Medicine Section of the Southern Medical Association, Southeastern (Interurban) Clinical Club, Diplomate of the Pan American Medical Association, Alabama Academy of Sciences, member of the Executive Committee and Trustee of the Visiting Nurses Association, American Society of Internal Medicine, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, and Marquis Library Society, Inc.

Dr. Frommeyer was consultant in Internal Medicine at the Birmingham Veterans Administration Hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital, Birmingham Baptist Hospitals, and South Highlands Infirmary. He was on the editorial advisory board of Nutrition Today science 1972 and also served on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Family Practice. In addition he was also a contributor of articles to medical journals.

Dr. Frommeyer received many honors and awards which include the following: Peter T. Kilgour Award, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine in 1942; Distinguished Service Award in 1959, Gold Heart Award in November 1971 and Honorary Fellow, Council of Clinical Cardiology in 1969 from the American Heart Association; Praestans Inter Omnes Award, Purcell High School, Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 22, 1970; nominated Man of the Year for 1970 by the Greater Birmingham Area by the Young Men's business Club; Distinguished Faculty Lecturer March, 1971, by the University of Alabama Medical Center; Mastership of the American College of Physicians in April 1974; Physician's Recognition Award 1974-77; Omicron Delta Kappa honoris causa on October 24, 1975; Alfred Stengel Award, April 1977, American College of Physicians; and the Internist of the year for 1976-77 from the American Society of Internal Medicine.

He married the former Elizabeth Ann Lee and had two daughters: Lee and Virginia Frommeyer Benners. He is now deceased.