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Dr. A.D. Ziggy Sears RIP

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Thanks to Tom Blackwell for passing this along.

Dr. A.D. 'Ziggy' Sears: Radiology chief at Baylor focused on women's health

08:52 AM CDT on Saturday, October 28, 2006

By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News


Dr. A.D. "Ziggy" Sears Dr. A.D. "Ziggy" Sears was the innovative chief


radiology at Baylor University Medical Center for 25 years. The father

of three

daughters, he was keenly interested in women's health issues and helped


become a pioneering city in mammography for the detection of breast

cancer, his

colleagues said.

Dr. Sears, 84, died Tuesday of natural causes at Baylor hospital.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Sparkman Hillcrest

Funeral Home. A

memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.

During his 47 years in private practice, Dr. Sears saw many patients,


one infamous prisoner at the request of Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker. One

night in

1966, the legendary sheriff called the doctor to take chest X-rays of

Jack Ruby.

They provided the first real evidence that Ruby had lung cancer.

A visionary physician, Dr. Sears brought to Dallas several noninvasive

diagnostic technologies, including ultrasound, the CT scan and magnetic

resonance imaging, or MRI. Under his leadership, Baylor's radiology


became a top subspecialty group in Dallas, said Dr. Herbert L.

Steinbach of


"Everybody was so happy there, and Sears was such a good chief," said


Steinbach, who retired in August after 42 years at Baylor. "It was also

a time

when a huge number of advances developed.

"Nuclear medicine was already there, but it came alive" under Dr.

Sears, he


Born in Tahoka, Texas, Dr. Sears was a graduate of Lamesa High School.

He hitchhiked to Austin to attend the University of Texas, where he

worked his

way through school as a janitor and waiter.

He served in the Navy as a lieutenant during World War II.

After the war, he resumed his education at the University of Texas,

where he met

his wife-to-be, Ouida Gray, in a chemistry class.

In 1951, Dr. Sears received his medical degree from Southwestern

Medical School,

now UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Sears got his nickname, "Zig" or "Ziggy," from an old Fort Worth


baseball player.

Dr. Sears and Dr. Steinbach were among the physicians who made up their

practice, Radiology Associates of Dallas, which had an exclusive


contract with Baylor.As a practitioner, Dr. Sears took the X-rays that


Jack Ruby's lung cancer in 1966, Dr. Steinbach said.

"They met at the office at 2 or 3 in the night, and they X-rayed him,"


Steinbach said. "We all found out about it after it happened."

Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of assassinating


John F. Kennedy, died the next year in a Dallas hospital.

Dr. Sears, who was named Baylor's chief of radiology in 1966, was a


adviser to three generations of Baylor administrators, said Boone

Powell Jr.,

retired president and chief executive officer of Baylor Health Care

System in


"He was kind of a physician's physician," Mr. Powell said. "He kept us

at the


Dr. Sears was an early proponent of mammography, identifying its

potential, Dr.

Steinbach said.

"It was just being tried," said Dr. Steinbach, Baylor's chief of

radiology from

1992 to 2000. "It took so much dosage it would burn up the X-ray tubes,

but he

was adamant that that would be something. When they developed the first

dedicated mammography tube, we were the first one to have it."

Dr. Sears cared a great deal about women's health, said his daughter

Peggy Sears

Newman of Dallas.

"Back at that time, not much attention was given to women's health

care," Mrs.

Newman said. "It just was not on the radar.

"I think he helped put it on the radar, at least in Dallas."

In addition to his wife and daughter, Dr. Sears is survived by two


daughters, Doyle Ann Sears of Los Angeles and Dr. Laura Sears of

Dallas; and

five grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Dr. A.D. and Ouida Sears Endowment in


Fund, No. 55733, at the Baylor Foundation, 3600 Gaston Ave., Suite 100,


Texas 75246-1800, Attention: Shirlee Smith.

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