Indiana University
Campus People  |  

Dr. Goethe Link

Dr. Link 

Dr. Goethe Link (1879-1981) was a noted Indianapolis surgeon who specialized in the treatment of goiter and thyroid problems, developing many innovative surgical techniques for these conditions.  He was born in Pike County Indiana and went to high school in Petersburg.  Dr. Link first attended Wabash College then came to IU only for the 1896-1897 school year. He later graduated from the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, Indianapolis, in 1902.  He was one of the founders of the Indiana University Medical School and practiced in the Indianapolis area until well into his 80's.  By 1970 he had performed over 22,000 operations on the thyroid.

Dr. Link received many honors for his medical work, and patients traveled from throughout the world for his treatment.  He is remembered as well for the extraordinary breath of his other interest and activities. He was a pioneering American aeronaut who won the National Balloon Race in 1909.  He was an accomplished naturalist whose studies of humming bird behavior and herpetology (snakes) were made at Tanager Hill, his country home in Morgan county where he lived for much of his later years.  Dr. Link built a 36-inch telescope at Tanager Hill in 1937 to satisfy his growing interest in astronomy.  This observatory was donated to Indiana University in 1947 and named the Goethe Link Observatory.  In acknowledgement of  his astronomical contributions Dr. Link was elected a Patron of the American Astronomical Society in 1940 and a minor planet (asteroid) discovered at the Goethe Link Observatory was named for him in 1968.

Additional information about Dr. Link's life and accomplishments can be found in the July 1970 issue of the The Journal of the Indiana State Medical Association.  This magazine contains a series of 13 articles on different aspects of the life of this remarkable man.