ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A University of Kansas professor believes that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had cancer and heart disease in the years before his death and that physicians concealed the illnesses for fear he would lose the 1944 election.
Dr. Robert P. Hudson, professor of history and medicine, described his conclusions at a conference here of the American Assn. for the History of Medicine.
Hudson, the association's president, has researched Roosevelt's last illness for seven years.
He said the sudden brain hemorrhage that killed the polio-stricken President in April, 1945, at Warm Springs, Ga., was attributable either to a malignant brain tumor or severe cardiovascular disease, "both of which, in my opinion, he suffered."
Hudson told delegates that Roosevelt had a cancer called malignant melanoma and said it may have spread to the President's brain by 1944, the year he sought an unprecedented fourth term.
Diagnosis of the President's cancer probably came in the spring of 1944, yet Roosevelt's personal physician, Vice Adm. Ross McIntire, "repeatedly deceived the public" by denying that Roosevelt's health was any cause for concern, Hudson said.
Hudson said journalists, relatives, advisers and friends "clearly saw the President as not only ill, but impaired, beginning in early January, 1944."