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Don R. Read, M.D., died on March 21, 2019 after a year-and-a-half battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Ft. Worth on January 17, 1942, he grew up in the Park Cities and attended elementary through junior high schools in the Highland Park School District. His father was transferred by his company to Glendale, California, where Don was co-captain and quarterback of the Hoover High School Tornadoes.

Dr. Read, a surgeon with Texas Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Dallas, was a past president of the Texas Medical Association, the largest medical association in the U.S. with more than 53,000 members. He was also president of the Dallas County Medical Society, a group of over 7,100 members.

In Memory of Don R. Read, M.D.

Dr. Read was an Eagle Scout and one of 21 top high school science students for the NASA-related Ojai Summer Science Program. He graduated from Austin College and while there was a high level representative of U.S. students with Operation Crossroads Africa, which included personal audiences with two historic African figures: Ethiopian Ruler Haile Selassie and Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya. He earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. He served an externship with doctors in the bush in Zaire (Congo), helping deliver medical care in remote and primitive conditions. He was a U.S. Navysurgeon in a M.A.S.H. unit in Vietnam with front-line Marines where he was decorated with a Bronze Star. After leaving military service with the rank of lieutenant commander, he returned to Chicago and, upon completing his residency, was named the Director of Surgical Education at Cook County Hospital. He was an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Illinois. He returned to Dallas and was a co-founder of Texas Colon and Rectal Surgeons in Dallas, one of the largest colorectal practices in the U.S., with 18 surgeons in 11 offices. He served as president or head of 17 hospital and medical society organizations, held nine Medical Society memberships, was appointed to the staffs of 11 hospitals, participated in 153 medical conferences and published ten professional papers. As president of the Dallas County Medical Society, he launched Project Access, for outreach for the working poor of Dallas, and was a local pioneer in programs to treat and rehabilitate medical professionals addicted to drugs or alcohol. In 2005 Dr. Read nearly died of West Nile Virus. He founded the West Nile Support Group in Dallas and his recovery was a source of inspiration and he was a resource for those suffering the deficits of WNV. He gave hope to other West Nile Virus victims that their health could improve. He visited other West Nile Virus patients in hospitals, educating them about the virus in layman’s terms. He was a frequent face on Dallas television as the area’s leading spokesperson on the disease and he answered mail from WNV victims worldwide. Dr. Read was a board member of the Dallas Rotary Club and he was a baritone in the choir of Preston Hollow and Highland Park Presbyterian Churches. He is survived by his adoring wife of 50 years, Roberta, daughters Alison, and Sarah Read (Bob) Gehrenbeck and two grandchildren Henry Read and Theo Don Gehrenbeck. He is also survived by his brother, Nat (Linda) Read.

President Texas Medical Association

Don Read is the former president and former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Dallas County Medical Society, and the former president for the Texas Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. These leadership roles played a viable part in Dr. Read’s career and life, helping him to become the recipient of the 2010 Max Cole Leadership Award, presented by the Dallas County Medical Society for outstanding service in the field of medicine and to the community.

An Active Colorectal Surgery Instructor

Dr. Read was the clinic instructor in surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas and President of the Texas Medical Association. He also served on the board of the Dallas County Medical Society. While completing residencies in Chicago, he was the director of surgical education at Cook County Hospital in Chicago and after moving to Texas, served as the president of the medical staff and a member of the Board of Directors at Medical City Dallas.

Dr. Read presented topics to professional colleagues on colon and rectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids and other topics throughout the U.S., South America and Europe. He was active in a number of national and local medical societies and associations, and published in the U.S. and Latin America with articles on diseases of the colon and rectum, abscesses, fistulas and diverticulitis.

One of the Top Colon and Rectal Surgeons in Dallas, TX

One of the best colon and rectal surgeons in Dallas, TX, not to mention, all of North Texas, Dr. Read’s practice encompasses all colorectal health disorders. These include colonoscopy for screening, diagnosis and therapeutic practices, the expert treatment of diverticulitis, fistulas, pilonidal cysts, constipation, fissures, diarrhea, and the treatment of hemorrhoids.

A Texas native, Dr. Read was active in his church choir and was an active member of the Dallas Rotary Club since 1982. He and his wife, Roberta, have two daughters, Sarah and Alison.

Dr. Read founded the West Nile Virus Support Group in 2006, with members from Dallas and surrounding areas. In 1970, Dr. Read received the Bronze Star for service with the 7th Marines Division in Vietnam from 1969-1970. His service continues today in his practice and commitment to excellent patient care.

ABOUT In Memory of Don R. Read, M.D.


  • Residency in Colorectal Surgery.Cook County Hospital – Chicago, Illinois
  • Residency in General Surgery.Northwestern University & Cook County Hospital – Chicago, Illinois
  • Degree: M.D.University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston, Texas
  • Degree: B.A.Austin College – Sherman, Texas

Postgraduate Teaching

  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas
  • University of Illinois
  • Cook County Hospital


  • American College of Surgeons; Fellow
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons; Fellow
  • Texas Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons; Fellow
  • Midwest Surgical Association
  • American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
  • Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons
  • Dallas County Medical Society
  • Texas Medical Association; Past Chairman and Current Secretary of the Board of Trustees
  • International Society of University Colon and Rectal Surgeons


  • Consumers’ Research Council of America
  • Guide to America’s Top Surgeons
  • D Magazine Best Doctors in Dallas: 2001-2013, 2015
  • The 2010 Max Cole Leadership Award awarded by the Dallas County Medical Society for outstanding service in the field of medicine and to the community
  • Best Doctors in America® 1996-2004, 2007-2008
  • Texas Super Doctors 2008, 2013, 2014 (Super Doctors is a trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)
  • Published in Texas Monthly


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I just celebrated 20 years since receiving an ileostomy under the gifted hands of Dr. Don Read and Dr. Randy Crim. I have been disease free and live a normal married lifestyle. Thank you for having me as your patient, may God continue to bless and keep you.

– Gary C.