What Philadelphia Lost When it Lost Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr.

10 things you didn’t know about one of our city’s great men.

On this past Thursday at 8:30 a.m., 81-year-old Dr. Walter P. Lomax Jr. passed away. “So what?” you ask. “What’s the big deal?” you ask. “Don’t old men die every day?” you ask.

The big deal, I answer, is that he wasn’t just an old man. The big deal is that he was and is a great man.

Dr. Lomax was a prominent physician, prosperous entrepreneur, and selfless philanthropist. The youngest of four children and a graduate of La Salle University and Hahnemann University Hospital, he opened his first medical office in a row house near his South Philly family home in 1958.

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The Hahnemann Alumnus Who Championed Philly’s African-American Community — and Also Treated Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Black History Month, DrexelNow takes a deeper look at the life and work of one alumnus, Walter P. Lomax Jr., MD, who graduated from Hahnemann Medical College (now Drexel’s College of Medicine) in 1957.

Since graduating from the medical school, Lomax was a compassionate physician who grew a small clinic into six medical centers and a company to provide quality care and treatment to the underserved and the less fortunate. A philanthropist who supported a variety of cultural, educational, health and artistic non-profit organizations, Lomax bought 900 AM-WURD, the only black-owned and –operated radio station in the state and one of the few of its kind across the country.

And yes, he did treat Martin Luther King Jr. for laryngitis in February 1968 when King was in Philadelphia organizing an anti-Vietnam campaign. Lomax visited King in his hotel room just two months before the civil rights icon was assassinated.

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Sara Lomax Reese Interviews Walter P. Lomax Jr. MD

WURD honors the legacy of WURD Founder, Walter P. Lomax Jr., MD. Listen as Dr. Lomax shares a moment with his daughter, WURD President and CEO, Sara Lomax Reese, where he recalls treating Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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