Griffith Rutherford Harsh, III
was born January 9, 1924 in Birmingham, Alabama, of devout Christian parents and was raised in the Presbyterian Church. He was educated in the Birmingham public schools through grade 9. After completing preparatory school at Northwood School, Lake Placid, New York, he was graduated from Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Medical School. Post graduate education included surgical residency at Vanderbilt, during which Dr. Cobb Pilcher introduced and stimulated him to neurosurgery as a career. This was followed by neurosurgical fellowship at Boston Childrens and Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals with Drs. Ingraham and Matson, and subsequent neurosurgical residency at Barnes Hospital, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, with Dr. Henry Schwartz.
Military service included medical training in the Army Specialized Training Program during WW II. Prior to the Korean War he served on the Neurosurgical Service at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. With the outbreak of the Korean War, he served at Tokyo Army Hospital, and as Commanding Officer of the First Provisional Neurosurgical Detachment in Korea.
After 24 years of private neurosurgical practice in Birmingham, Alabama, ultimately in a seven man group, he entered full-time academic practice as Professor and Director of the Division of Neurosurgery, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School. He served as member and chairman of the ABNS and of the Residency Review Committee for Neurosurgery.
He married Craig Kilpatrick of Sweetwater, Tennessee in 1952. Together they had three sons; Griff IV, now a neurosurgeon at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Milton, a lawyer and investment banker in Birmingham, and Carter, a neurosurgeon at St. Vincents Hospital in Birmingham. Each son is married and collectively they have produced four grandsons and two granddaughters.
In 1991 he retired to full-time cattle farming in Sweetwater, Tennessee, where he currently serves as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America.