March 2016

In Memoriam

Anthony J. Bianco, Jr., MD
1926 –2016

Anthony Bianco, Jr., MD was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota. He received his medical degree, MD, from the University of Minnesota in 1948. Following graduation, he interned at Duluth’s St. Mary’s Hospital, but was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy with the rank of lieutenant in 1949. Demobilized in late 1950, Dr. Bianco returned to Duluth to join his father in family practice.

In 1952, Bianco entered orthopedic residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His residency was interrupted when he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He served more than two years as medical officer on board the U.S.S. Banfield, an attack transport. After discharge Bianco returned to complete his residency, receiving his Master of Science in Orthopaedic Surgery in 1958, the same year he joined the Mayo orthopaedic staff.

In 1967, Dr. Bianco petitioned the orthopaedic department to allow him to limit his practice solely to children, four years before there was a pediatric orthopaedic society. Thus, he became one of the first in the nation to practice solely pediatric orthopaedics at a multispecialty academic institution. He was a Founding Fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society (1966) and of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society (1971).

Dr. Bianco’s passion was patient care. He was a prolific and proficient surgeon, performing thousands of operations to alleviate spine curvature, congenitally dislocated hips, club feet, and other orthopedic conditions of children and adolescents. His management of both patients and parents was impeccable and marked by compassion. He was something of a legend among nurses at Rochester’s St. Mary’s Hospital for the respect and consideration he invariably showed them, even when a surgery or post-operative recovery did not go entirely as planned.

Highly respected by fellow Mayo Consultants, Dr. Bianco was elected to two terms on Mayo’s highest councils: the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees (1975-1983), served as section head of Pediatric Orthopaedics (1967-1982) and chaired the Department of Orthopaedics (1982-1988). He retired in 1991.

Dr. Bianco was well-known for his lively good humor and voracious intellectual curiosity. He seemed to know something about everything, and a lot about a lot of things. Many people sought his advice, for he was a man of solid judgement and great discretion.

For many years Dr. and Mrs. Bianco lived in the country, near Mayowood, where he bred Arabian and thoroughbred horses, and raised mastiff canines. He is survived by his wife, seven children, and nine grandchildren. He was a gentleman of the old school, and will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him. Anthony Bianco, Jr., MD died January 3, 2016, at age 89.

Written by: Hamlet A. Peterson, MD