Robert Kirk, DVM, DACVIM, DACVD (1922 2011)

Dr. Robert Kirk, emeritus professor of Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine was internationally recognized and perhaps best known for his text, Current Veterinary Therapy, presently in its 13th edition. A board-certified and renowned teacher, he was a member of the Cornell faculty from 1952 to 1985. He served as director of Cornell University Hospital for Animals in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Kirk was a 1946 graduate of Cornell and had one of the most prolific careers ever seen in veterinary clinical practice. He was recognized for elevating the standards of small-animal practice at Cornell and throughout the profession.

Why did that name sound so familiar? After doing some research in our own archives, we learned Dr. Kirk was the 1996 recipient of the Mark L. Morris, Sr. Lifetime Achievement award. Not only that, but over the course of the past fifteen years, quotes from Dr. Kirk graced videos and press releases related to future award recipients including Dr. Jack Mara’s 2004 Award and Dr. Mark Morris, Jr.’s 2007 Award. I and our production teams have had the privilege to meet and interview many of the icons in veterinary medicine, and one of those was Dr. Kirk. The award is presented by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., in honor of Dr. Morris. What a legend. What a man.

For more information on Dr. Kirk and his legacy, visit or


Robert Warren Kirk

Robert Warren Kirk, age 88, of Savage Farm Rd, Ithaca, died Wednesday, January 19, 2011 athis home. He was born May 20, 1922 in Stamford CT to Frank and Edna Kirk. In his youth, hedeveloped a lifelong love for hunting, fishing and outdoorsmanship and achieved Eagle Scoutwith bronze, silver, and gold palms. He served in the US Army and the US Air Force. Heattended the University of Connecticut at Storrs to study agriculture, planning to be a dairyfarmer, earning his BA with distinction in 1943. His vision of animal medicine expanded as hecame to the Cornell Vet School, graduating in 1946. He made major contributions to theveterinary profession and earned numerous awards. His most important contribution wasbelonging to a cohort of veterinarians who brought veterinary medicine from “farm doctoring” tothe profession it is today with its significant contributions to community and human health. Oneof his great professional interests was strengthening the connection between veterinary researchand practice. He was married toHelen Grandish Kirk who predeceased him. He is survived by three daughters, Kathryn Kirk,Barbara Kirk, Jan (Mike) Hamilton, two granddaughters, Megan Hamilton, Andrea (Travis)Faber and two great-grand children, Adalia Faber and Odin Faber. The family is very proud tohave been associated with the veterinary profession through Bob and lucky to have him as a dad.Services will be held on Sunday, January 23, at 2 pm at the First Congregational Church, 309Highland Rd, Ithaca. There will be a public reception at Kendal at Ithaca on Monday, January24th at 10 am. Memorials may be sent to the Robert W Kirk Practitioner-in-Residence Program,Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, Box 39, College of Veterinary Medicine, CornellUniversity, Ithaca, NY 14853. Funeral Home assisted the family. Picture wasphotographed by Dede Hatch.

" Ithaca Journal, January 22, 2011


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