Cody, Claude Carr, Jr. (1884–1959)

By: Patricia L. Jakobi

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Updated: July 29, 2016

Claude Carr Cody, Jr., otolaryngologist, was born in Georgetown, Texas, on September 9, 1884, the son of Martha R. (Hughes) and Claude Carr Cody. The elder Cody was professor of mathematics, dean of the faculty, and first official librarian at Southwestern University. Young Cody attended public schools in Georgetown, obtained both a B.A. (1904) and an M.A. (1905) from Southwestern, and in 1910 received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He then spent two years as intern and house surgeon of the First Surgical Division at Bellevue Hospital, New York City. He attended the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Medical School in 1920–21 and took further training in Vienna in 1931.

Cody moved in 1913 to Houston and practiced general medicine until 1917, when he joined the Army Medical Reserve Corps. He was soon called to active duty and served in France, Flanders, and New York before returning to Houston in 1919. After completing his training in Pennsylvania, he served as attending otolaryngologist at various Houston hospitals, including Southern Pacific (1913–17), Baptist (1922–26), Methodist (1924–26), and Jefferson Davis (1922–29). He was certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology in 1927, a year after he became consulting otolaryngologist at Methodist Hospital of Houston. In 1943 Cody was appointed professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Baylor University College of Medicine. He served in these last two positions until his retirement in 1955.

He published numerous articles in his field as well as writings on medical education and medical economics. He helped establish the Harris County Medical Library in 1919. During his years as a trustee of the Houston Academy of Medicine (1919–38 and 1943–59) he worked to develop its library as well. Cody was also a trustee of Southwestern University from 1934 to 1959 and received an honorary D.Sc. from that school in 1940. In addition, he helped found the Houston Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, served as director of the Houston Chamber of Commerce in 1946, and was a steward of St. Paul's Methodist Church.

Among his many professional offices, Cody was president of the State Medical Association of Texas (later renamed the Texas Medical Association in 1946–47, the Texas Ophthalmological and Otolaryngological Society (1934), the Houston Academy of Medicine (1929), and the Harris County Medical Society (1923). He also chaired the Section on Laryngology, Otology, and Rhinology for the American Medical Association (1942–44) and served as a member of the Council on Medical Economics for the State Medical Association of Texas from 1936 to 1944, the last five years as its chairman. He was a life fellow of both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and the American College of Surgeons.

He married Florra Root in 1917 in Taylor. They had no children. Cody died in Houston on December 30, 1959.

Reference Folder, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, Harris County Medical Archive. Texas State Journal of Medicine, June 1946, February 1960.

  • Education
  • Educators
  • Medical
  • Health and Medicine
  • School Trustees and Regents
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Otolaryngologists
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
  • Authors and Writers
Time Periods:
  • Progressive Era
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Patricia L. Jakobi, “Cody, Claude Carr, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994
July 29, 2016

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