Dr. William Stewart Halsted is widely recognized as "the father of modern surgery" and was one of the four founders of Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Dr. Halsted died at the age of 70, having revolutionized surgery (the sterile operating room was one of his many contributions).
He enjoyed a thirty-two-year marriage, good health, and the admiration of his peers. However, Sir William Osler's "Secret History" of the medical center, made public in 1969, revealed that Dr. Halsted had been addicted to morphine until the end of his life. Dr. Osler, another of the founders of Johns Hopkins, wrote,
He had never been able to reduce the amount to less than three grains [180 milligrams] daily; on this he could do his work comfortably, and maintain his excellent physical vigor.
A daily injection of morphine is certainly not recommended operating room procedure, but the history of Dr. Halsted is hardly the stereotype of narcotic addiction that we have come to believe.