Harold Rawling Pratt-Thomas ’34

Harold Rawling Pratt-Thomas ’34, M.D., entered into eternal life Mar. 29.

Dr. Pratt-Thomas was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, June 9, 1913, the son of Dorothy Parkin and Harold Pratt.

After World War I, his mother married Lee Hamilton Thomas, who adopted him.

He graduated from Davidson College with an A.B. degree, and later received an honorary degree from his alma mater. He was granted his M.D. degree from the Medical College of the State of South Carolina in 1938. After serving his internship and residency in pathology at the Cincinnati General Hospital, he joined the pathology department at MUSC, where he remained for 49 years.

During this time, he served as chairman of the department and dean of the School of Medicine, as well as president of the institution. He established the School of Cytotechnology, which was among the earliest in the nation devoted to this discipline. He was a fellow of the American College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Medical Society of South Carolina, the AOA, and was president emeritus of the Waring Historical Library.

Among his many honors, he was awarded honorary degrees from the College of Charleston, Davidson College, and MUSC.

Dr. Pratt-Thomas was twice selected by his students for the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching, and his students commissioned his portrait by Robert Bruce Williams, which currently hangs at MUSC.

He was a member of the St. Andrew’s Society, the Medical Society of South Carolina, the Medical History Club, the South Carolina Society, and the Screen Actors Guild.

In addition to his devotion to his family, his avocations included being a master gardener, painting, photography, growing orchids, yachting, and being an avid outdoorsman.

Dr. Pratt-Thomas is survived by his wife, Mary “Polly” Douglas Pratt-Thomas, 23 Legare St., Charleston, SC 29401; his children, Dorothy Parkin Pratt-Thomas Leonard (W.B. Chisolm Leonard), Mary Porcher Pratt-Thomas Evans, Harold Rawling Pratt-Thomas, Jr. (Lou Ann Scarborough Pratt-Thomas), and Erskine Douglas Pratt-Thomas (Leslie Darwin Pratt-Thomas); his brother, Frank Parkin Thomas; his eight grandchildren, Mary Douglas Leonard Ohl, W.B. Chisolm Leonard, Jr., Caroline Heyward Evans Johnson, George Rawling Evans, Helen Cooper Pratt-Thomas, Harold Rawling Pratt-Thomas III, Jeffrey Douglas Pratt-Thomas, and Taylor Darwin Pratt-Thomas; and his five great-grandchildren, Nelson Porter Ohl, Virginia Bailey Ohl, Dorothy Wade Leonard, Harry Locke Johnson III, and Peter Cordes Porcher Johnson. He was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Thomas Hunter, and his brother, Lee Hamilton Thomas, Jr.