Richard B. Morawetz
was born in Marietta, Georgia, on November 27, 1944, the son of Richard Joseph Morawetz and Mary Norton Bacon. He was educated at the Westminster School, Atlanta, Georgia (1958-1962); Emory University (1962-1965); and Duke University School of Medicine (1965-1969). He interned and completed one year of residency in general surgery at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (1969-1971); completed a residency in neurosurgery under J. Garber Galbraith, M.D. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1971-1975); and one year of fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1975-1976). During his year of fellowship he worked with Robert Crowell, M.D. to define thresholds of cerebral ischemia in waking primates.
He returned to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1976 and joined the faculty in the Division of Neurosurgery. Under the guidance of J. Garber Galbraith and Griff Harsh he progressed through the academic ranks, and is currently J. Garber Galbraith Professor of Neurosurgery, Director of the Division of Neurosurgery, and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He has served as President of the Southern Neurosurgical Society and the Neurosurgical Society of Alabama, Vice-President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, and Vice-President of the Neurosurgical Society of America. He has served on the Editorial Board of Neurosurgery.
After developing an interest in medical risk management, he served for many years as the Chairman of the Policy Committee of the Self-Insurance Trust of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and gained considerable experience in the areas of self-insurance and excess liability coverage.
In 1968 he married Mary Jean Middlebrooks, and has since developed interests in birding, horticulture, landscape design, primitive coastal living, and aviation.