International Journal of Urologic History

Assuring Excellence: The Inventions, Life, and Leadership of Edgar Garrison Ballenger

Alice T. Chu, Samuel R. Donnenfeld, Vikram M. Narayan
First Published: Sept. 24, 2023
DOI: 10.53101/IJUH.3.1.092403
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Edgar G Ballenger (1877-1945) was a leader in early 20th century American urology, now honored as the namesake for the AUA Southeastern Section’s Ballenger Memorial Lecture. Our objective was to learn more about Ballenger’s career, his leadership, and how he came to effect such positive change in the development of modern urology in the southeastern United States


We conducted a review of the literature authored by or on Edgar Ballenger, MD. We accessed archives of Emory University School of Medicine, the Atlanta History and Kenan Research Centers, and newspaper archives of the Atlanta Constitution and Salisbury Times.


Ballenger was born and raised a North Carolinian but graduated from medical school and trained in Maryland before returning to the deep South. He volunteered for medical service during the First World War, serving with many others from the Emory University community, and was eventually promoted to the rank of Major. He finally returned to Atlanta in 1919 and began a 20-year illustrious career as a urologist, innovating the surgical management of prostatectomy, providing insights into the control of infection and new thinking on urinary voiding dysfunction. Author, editor, and educator, he served as President of the AUA itself in 1939. He died at 67 after an apparent cardiac arrest and a 7-story fall in the historic Georgian Terrace Hotel. The keynote address of the annual meeting of the AUA’s Southeastern Section is the Ballenger Lecture, named in his honor.


Edgar Ballenger was an early 20th century innovator in urology, a thought leader and decorated war hero, who

Editor in Chief: John L. Phillips, MD
Journal Design: Akhil A. Saji, MD
DOI: 10.53101
US ISSN: 2769-2183