The Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society encourages and fosters medical research and teaching. The annual Lederer-Pierce Award recognized clinical and basic science research by Otolaryngology residents and is a great testimonial to this commitment. Established in 1961 by Frances L. Lederer to honor the memory of his long time friend Norval H. Pierce, the award has stimulated a brisk congenial rivalry between the residents of the five medical school academic departments of otolaryngology.
Initially known as the Norval Pierce Prize, the award was proposed and funded by Dr. Lederer to recognize the contributions in teaching made by Dr. Pierce who was chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Illinois until his retirement in 1924. Dr. Pierce was charter member of the CL&O and became its president in 1903.
The name of Frances L. Lederer was linked to the progress of Otolaryngology for half a century. Dr. Lederer was a Chicagoan who, after graduating from Rush Medical College, sought specialty training in Otolaryngology in Vienna. In 1925 he was appointed Acting Head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Illinois and in 1936 was name Professor and Chairman of the Department. A devoted and tireless teacher, he gave his residents superior training and used his wisdom and influence to enhance the status and future of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery nationally and internationally. Throughout his career he received many honors and served in many leadership roles: President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology; Captain in the U.S. Navy; member of the American Board of Otolaryngology; consultant to the Surgeon General of the United States.
Although his awards were many, Dr. Lederer is remembered particularly for his encouragement and inspiration to hundreds of medical students and generations of residents in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Shortly after his death in 1973, the Council of the Society voted to commemorate his memory in turn, designated the prize as the Lederer-Pierce Award. The Award has been endowed by the Frances L. Lederer Foundation.