John F. Potter, founder of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, died June 28, at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the site of his greatest professional triumphs. He was 95.
There can be no question that without John Potter, there would be no Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. As Georgetown University President John DeGioia said in a wonderful tribute video in 2018 to Dr. Potter, “As long as I’ve been a part of the Georgetown Community, the name John Potter has had iconic status. He represents the very best of this University.”
Dr. Potter was a 1949 graduate of Georgetown School of Medicine and a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. After his residency, he spent several years at the National Cancer Institute as a researcher in surgical oncology. In 1960, Dr. Potter returned to Georgetown’s medical school and held several positions, eventually becoming Chief of Surgical Oncology.
Dr. Potter’s singular vision and driving passion was to create a cancer center at Georgetown, because he could see a future where this university made a difference to prevent, treat and cure cancer.