Author Biographical Info

William Albert Spencer born on February 16, 1922 in Oklahoma City. He went to Georgetown University for his Bachelor’s degree and was first in his class in medical school at John Hopkins University.

Beginning in 1951 Dr. Spencer would lead staff at Baylor College of Medicine to address the polio epidemic. This research paved the way for Baylor to become one of the most prominent rehabilitation facilities in the country. He would become founder of The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research, or TIRR, which opened its doors on May 30, 1959. Today the hospital is officially part of the Memorial Hermann Hospital system. See more at


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Publication Date(s)

February 22, 1988




Poliomyelitis, Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Centers, Disabilities, Barrier-free design, Pediatrics, World War (1939-1945), Computers, Houston (TX), Texas Medical Center, N. Don Macon, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Russell J. Blattner, Jefferson Davis Hospital (Houston, TX), Baylor College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Georgetown University, UT-TV (Television station : Houston, TX), interviews, oral histories, audiovisual materials, videotapes


An Interview with William A. Spencer, MD. Conducted by N. Don Macon. UT/TV Houston. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 2/29/1988. Dubbing Master. See more at Texas Medical Center Historical Resources Project Records and its finding aid.


Digital copy made available by Texas Medical Center Library. Digitization supported by South Central Academic Medical Libraries Consortium (SCAMeL) Speedy Startup funds, 2022.