School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

In Memoriam - Robert Mathog, M.D.

Robert Mathog, M.D., the longtime chair of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology, died Oct. 10 at Harper Hospital. He was 75.

Dr. Mathog served as professor and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at Wayne State University since 1977.  He also was chief of Otolaryngology at Harper and Detroit Receiving hospitals from 1977 to 2007.

A staunch supporter of the Lions Club International’s efforts to fight hearing loss, Dr. Mathog served as president and chair of the Board of the Lions Hearing Center of Michigan (Lions Hearing Center of Southeastern Michigan) since 2000, and worked devotedly to raise funds to support the Lions’ efforts.

He built an international reputation in facial trauma, cancer and rehabilitative surgery, and published more than 200 papers and chapters in scientific journals and books on issues ranging from vestibular function, otology, swallowing, scar revision, facial fractures, craniofacial reconstruction for cancer, regional flaps for head and neck surgery, and post-traumatic deformities. He is well known for his books, “Textbook of Maxillofacial Trauma,” “Atlas of Craniofacial Trauma” and “Mathog's Atlas of Craniofacial Trauma.”

He received the Valentine Mott Medal for proficiency and anatomy, multiple citations in Who's Who of the World, America and Midwest, and the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Otolaryngology.  For his research efforts in vestibular function, research training and rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients, he was awarded approximately $8 million. Dr. Mathog has served on the editorial board of several journals, including the American Journal of Otolaryngology, Laryngoscope, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He was a specialist site visitor for the Residency Review Committee, a member of the Communication Disorders Review Committee of the National Institutes of Health, and a member of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health. He served as president of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, vice president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons and vice president of the Triological Society.

Dr. Mathog is survived by his wife, Deena Mathog; daughters, Tiby Alecia (James), Heather and Lauren; son, Jason; brother, Alan (Mary) Mathog; and five grandchildren.

Donations be made to either of the following: The Robert H. Mathog, M.D. Research Fund, make checks payable to: WSU-Robert H. Mathog Research Fund, Attention Rita Florkey, Wayne State University Department of Otolaryngology, 4201 St. Antoine, 5E-UHC, Detroit, MI 48201; or the Lions Hearing Center of Michigan, Attention Rita Florkey, WSU Department of Otolaryngology, 4201 St. Antoine, 5E-UHC, Detroit, MI 48201. You can also donate online.