William Proudfit, MD., sitting at this desk with paper on the tabletop, looking at the camera

Photo: Cleveland Clinic Archives

William Proudfit, MD, was one of the driving forces behind the first computerized medical database: Cleveland Clinic’s computerized cardiovascular registry. Created with records meticulously kept by Emily Wagstaff, RN, the database ushered in a new era of data-driven care when it debuted in 1972. Floyd Loop, MD, and William Sheldon, MD, also collaborated on the registry, which remains the longest-running of its kind. Dr. Proudfit died in 2020, just shy of his 106th birthday.