Millwee, Robert Hughes (1884–1938)

By: Lisa C. Maxwell

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Robert Hughes Millwee, pioneer radiologist, the son of Sidney and Sarah A. Millwee, was born on May 29, 1884, in Belton, Texas. Before he attended medical school he served in the hospital corps of the United States Navy. After graduating from Southern Methodist University Medical College in Dallas in 1913, he became a radiologist at St. Paul's Hospital in Dallas. During World War I he served the United States Navy as a first lieutenant in the medical corps. Afterwards, he completed postgraduate studies in the eastern United States, Berlin, and Vienna and joined the staff at Dallas Methodist Hospital, where he became chief of radiology and, in 1936, chief of staff. In addition, he served as a consulting radiologist for Bradford Memorial Hospital, Freeman Memorial Clinic, and Parkland Hospital. Millwee was the first American radiologist to install a 200-kilovolt X-ray machine in his private office.

Millwee's main contribution was in deep therapy X ray and the invention of a revolutionary form of radiography, scanography, which he presented to the medical profession in 1937. Exhibits of his methods were displayed at American Medical Association meetings. At the time of his death he was writing a book about his advanced work on spinal radiography. Millwee belonged to the American Medical Association, the Dallas County Medical Society, the Southern Medical Association, the American Radium Society, and the American Roentgenological Society. In addition, he belonged to a number of social organizations, including the Dallas Athletic Club, the Dallas Country Club, and the Lions Club. Millwee was married to Alma Rea, who died in 1927. In 1931 he married Ada Sedberry. He had three children. He died in Dallas on June 22, 1938, and was buried at Restland Memorial Park.

Dallas Morning News, June 22, 1938. Texas State Journal of Medicine, August 1938.

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

Lisa C. Maxwell, “Millwee, Robert Hughes,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995

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