J.V.D. Hough, MD ~ 1920-2012
When Tom Brokaw wrote his book The Greatest Generation, he described men like Jack Hough, who grew up during the Great Depression, fought in World War II, and returned home to build the country we now enjoy. Coming from perhaps a simpler time, these heros of the greatest generation were guided by principles and values such as courage, honor, duty, service, loyalty, love, commitment to family, country and God.
Jack Hough's grandparents were Oklahoma pioneer "land run" settlers. His parents were small town Oklahoma teachers. Jack graduated from the Oklahoma College of Medicine at age 22. As a 24-year-old Marine Corps officer, he led a troop of medical corpsmen in the battle of Iwo Jima. Returning home from World War II, Jack became an ENT surgeon and joined the Oklahoma City Clinic.
By the early 1960s, Dr. Hough had specialized in otology and built a clinic at the new Baptist Hospital on the outskirts of northwest Oklahoma City. He had begun using the newly developed otomicroscope to surgically correct the fixed stapes bone in the middle ear otosclerotic patients. In an era when otosclerosis afflicted 10% of the general population and hearing aids were not yet practical, stapes surgery was a dramatic breakthrough that could miraculously correct the disabling hearing loss of otosclerosis. Stapes surgery was (and is) a technically demanding procedure that was evolving rapidly in the early 1960s and Jack Hough was by then widely recognized professionally as a master stapes surgeon. Despite a busy private practice, he published numerous articles and book chapters, was a popular guest lecturer, offered fellowship training, and eventually founded the Hough Ear Institute.
With a true pioneering spirit, Jack Hough continued to have a major impact on the field of otology throughout his long and prolific career. He made important contributions as tympanoplasty was perfected, and was one of the first cochlear implant surgeons in the country. He recognized the potential of magnetically driven implantable hearing devices and personally led teams that developed two different FDA-approved implantable hearing devices.
Awards, personal accolades, and professional recognition followed, but were not what Jack Hough sought. He was a man who truly lived his Christian faith and wanted to share it. Jack and Jodi (his wife of 69 years) were founders of their church in Yukon, were key leaders in the Billy Graham Oklahoma City Crusades of 1956 and 1983, and taught countless Bible studies in their home. Jack led many international medical mission trips, was a founding board member and chairman of Medical Assistance Program International and founded the Christian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeons. Jack Hough's 20-page treatise, "Science, Philosophy and Religion", was first presented in 1959 and is still available in limited private distribution.
Even in his later years, Jack Hough had the innate ability to make people feel welcome and valued. He resisted the concept of retirement and continued to leverage his gifts of personal charm and charisma in promoting the causes that were close to his heart. Truly one of the leaders of the Greatest Generation, Jack Hough died in early November 2012 at age 92.
--R. Stanley Baker, MD