Edward J. McGuire, professor emeritus of urology, died peacefully at home Feb. 16 at age 81.

Edward J. McGuire
Edward J. McGuire

A world-renowned surgeon who touched innumerable lives, he understood clinical problems from the complexity of the science behind them to the practical needs of individuals. McGuire was a founder of a branch of urology, now described as neurourology and female pelvic medicine and reconstruction.

He was born to Tom and Helen McGuire in East Lansing, Michigan, where they raised Ed and six siblings.

Loyola University in New Orleans and Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit prepared McGuire for an internship at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. Drafted in 1966, he served as a U.S. Army battalion surgeon in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Valor Device, and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and Valor Device, later overseeing Fort Bragg’s Emergency Room.  

Ed trained under Bernard Lytton at Yale and John Blandy in the Royal London Hospital. Joining Yale’s urology faculty in 1972, Ed generated innovations in patient care, novel concepts and new terminology that entered medical dictionaries. His methods of video-urodynamic evaluation of neurogenic bladder and urethral dysfunction, plus his linkage of bladder pressures to upper urinary tract deterioration and pioneering surgical techniques improved patient outcomes.

The University of Michigan enticed Ed in 1983 as head of urology where he expanded the faculty and subspecialty expertise, bringing a surge of new patients to Ann Arbor. Trainees and colleagues came to Ann Arbor from more than a dozen nations to work with McGuire, who was also a popular invited visiting professor around the world.

In 1992, Ed left U-M for the University of Texas in Houston, returning to Ann Arbor in 1999, bringing his skills and expertise back to U-M trainees and patients, especially the veterans at the Veterans Administration.

His honors included the American Urological Association Gold Cystoscope, Hugh Hampton Young and Lifetime Achievement awards. In 2007 he became Reed M. Nesbit Professor at U-M, retiring in 2013 as professor emeritus, when an endowed chair was established in his name.

A founding member and president of the Urodynamics Society, associate editor for Journal of Urology, Journal of Pelvic Surgery, and Journal of Neurourology and Urodynamics, Ed was consultant for the VA in Washington, D.C., on spinal cord injuries.   

Ed related well to trainees and patients. Students, residents and fellows fondly remember rounding with him in hospitals — conversations peppered with Vietnam memories, basic science insights and practical advice. He believed in diversity and inclusion in the medical workforce, bringing many women into urology, some now leaders across the globe. Ed led many urologic surgical missions to Haiti.

An avid reader, Ed’s broad sense of humanity and decency expanded throughout his life. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and sharing his lake house with family and friends. In later years, he and his wife, Susan, loved travel and playing golf.

Ed is survived by wife, Susan, daughters Colleen Reed (Ron), Megan Clark (Tom) and Bridget Meretta (Mike); stepchildren Kelly Guy (Billy), David Shilakes (Michelle) and Christopher Shilakes; 10 grandchildren and his beloved dog, Joey. He is also survived by all six siblings, Tom McGuire (Kathy), Kathie Theado (Dick), Margaret Catanese (Tony), Matt McGuire (Sharon), Dennis McGuire (Kay), Jerry McGuire, and many nieces and nephews.

A tribute will be planned at a future date with final interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

Submitted by Michigan Medicine Department of Urology

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