Dr. Albert L. Midgely

Inducted: 1970
Born: 1878 - Died:

Dr. Albert Leonard Midgely graduated from Classical High School in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1897. After attending Providence’s Brown University from 1897 to 1898, he graduated with honors from the Harvard Dental School in 1901. Because of his expertise, he soon became a pioneer in dental education as well as a prominent oral surgeon.

Recognizing the need of educational reform in the field of dentistry, he instituted much needed “national standards of excellence in his profession.”[1]  He instructed future residents for fourteen years at the Harvard Dental School and he established and served as the first president of the American College of Dentists.  In addition to lecturing at various dental clinics in Boston and in Providence, he would speak at several dental societies of note from the Atlantic to the Middle West.

Dr. Midgely served on the Rhode Island Board of Dental Examiners for thirty-five years and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Marquette University in 1922. Honored in 1959 as Rhode Island’s Dentist of the Century, Dr. Midgely was also officially memorialized by the Rhode Island General Assembly following his death in 1967.  He was survived by his wife Jennie (Corliss) Midgely and three daughters, Mary Hughes, Catherine Gilbane, and Sister Helen Midgely, a Carmelite nun.

Never too busy to lend his time and talents to worthy causes, he established dental clinics for children and the disadvantaged and was an active member of St. Sebastian’s Catholic Parish on Providence’s East Side,  where he served as a church trustee for thirty-five years. For his distinction in the field of dentistry as well as his service to his community, the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame inducted Dr. Albert Midgely in 1970.

John Parrillo

[1] “Dr. Albert L. Midgley: Rhode Island’s Dentist of the Century,” The Congressional Record- Senate. March 12, 1968, 6146.

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