Augustus S. Rose, founding chairman of the Department of Neurology at UCLA Medical Center when it started in 1951 and one of a handful of doctors chosen to serve as a Distinguished Physician by the Veterans Administration, died of cancer Sunday at his home in Brentwood. He was 81.
Rose had remained head of the UCLA department until his retirement in 1974. Sherman M. Mellinkoff, former UCLA Medical School dean, said, "Under Dr. Rose's leadership, the Department of Neurology achieved national and international respect.
"Among the major gifts that came to the department under his guidance was the bequest establishing the Clarence Reed Neurological Research Center at UCLA."
Rose, a past president of the American Neurological Assn. and one of the founders of the American Academy of Neurology, was born in Fayetteville, N.C. He attended Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before receiving his medical degree at Harvard in 1932.
Active on Committees
He trained at hospitals in Massachusetts and became board certified in both neurology and psychiatry. Over the years he was active in the World Federation of Neurology, serving on several international committees.
He taught and lectured at the University of North Carolina, Boston University and Harvard before joining the embryonic UCLA Medical School faculty.
Later he also taught at Wadsworth Veterans Hospital and toured the country for the VA, evaluating neurology training programs.
Rose was active in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. and the Epilepsy Foundation of America. Additionally, he was a consultant to several committees of the National Institutes of Health.
Earlier this year he was honored by the John Douglas French Foundation for Alzheimer's Research, which established a fellowship in his name at the UCLA department of neurology "in recognition of his splendid service as (founder and first) chairman of the foundation's National Scientific Advisory Board and of his eminence as one of America's great neurologists."
Survivors include his wife, Grace, two daughters, two sons, seven grandchildren and a sister.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Westwood Presbyterian Church, 10822 Wilshire Blvd.
The family suggests donations to research in multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease through the department of neurology, UCLA School of Medicine.