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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Leighton Elliot “Bob” Cooke (1914-2013)

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Physician and surgeon.

Born at Wolseley, Saskatchewan on 19 September 1914, son of Dr. Robert Judson Cooke and Ellen Sunter, he attended the University of Saskatchewan (BSc) and University of Manitoba (MD 1939). In 1941, he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Navy and served for four years as a surgeon on loan to the Royal Navy in England and aboard a hospital ship at Sierra Leone and South Africa. After his military discharge, he took additional medical training in London then, in 1947, he returned to Winnipeg where he practiced as a surgeon briefly before taking three years of surgical oncology training at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. Returning to Winnipeg in 1954, he joined the Manitoba Clinic and practiced there until retirement in 1980. He was also a member of the surgical staff at the Health Sciences Centre.

Following retirement from surgical practice, he worked for 10 years with Manitoba Health, as an Assessor and Chief Medical Consultant. He served on the boards for Manitoba Medical Services, Manitoba Medical Association, CancerCare Manitoba, and Canadian Cancer Society. He served as President of the Winnipeg Medical Society and the University of Manitoba Alumni Association. He received the Distinguished Medical Educator Award by the Manitoba Provincial Association of Interns and Residents.

He died at Winnipeg on 8 February 2013.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 March 2013.

We thank Jean Paterson and Robert Cooke for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 December 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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