Dr. Frank J. Grady, MD, PhD, 1941-2020
Founder & Former Medical Director
It is with great sadness that we announce the January 12 passing of our founder, Frank J. Grady,
MD, PhD. Dr. Grady, who was 78, died peacefully in his Lake Jackson, TX home.
Born August 14, 1941, in Brooklyn, NY, to Richard P. and Mildred O’Grady, a firefighter and a school secretary, Dr. Grady grew up in a working class, predominantly Jewish neighborhood where he went to Erasmus Hall High School with Barbara Streisand and Bobbie Fischer. His parents instilled in him the importance of education and he went on to graduate from Columbia University,summa cum laude, in 1961. He then attended the Yale School of Medicine where he graduated first in his class in 1965, followed by a rotating internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and his residency at Harkness Eye Institute of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. Concurrent with his residency, he completed a PhD in retinal physiology at the City University of New York. Dr. Grady was also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Grady was proud to serve his country in the United States Coast Guard’s Public Health Service. He spent his military time initially in Seattle and then in Galveston, Texas, where he formed many lifelong friendships and studied for his medical board exams, on which he scored the highest grade in the country. His strident work ethic and indefatigable energy were exemplified by the fact that, on top of work and studying for boards, he began “moonlighting” on the weekends at the ER of a small hospital – the Community Hospital of Brazosport.
He started his ophthalmology practice in Lake Jackson, renting an exam room in the office of a local obstetrician. His first year in Brazosport coincided with a local Dow strike and was so unsuccessful that he seriously considered leaving. But, at the urging of other physicians in the area who convinced him that his services were needed, he decided to stay, and it was in Lake Jackson where he met his loving wife, Donna.
Dr. Grady brought multiple leading-edge technologies and procedures to his new community. He was the first surgeon in Texas to implant an intraocular lens (IOL) following cataract surgery. He also provided indispensable expertise and guidance to Intermedics in their acquisition of IOL technology and worked with numerous IOL companies during their clinical trials to obtain FDA approval for their products.
In 1980, he became the first physician in the Houston area to perform radial keratotomy (RK), a radical surgery at the time, which was used to correct myopia, and which eventually led to the development of LASIK surgery. To better serve his patients, Dr.Grady built and opened one of the first ambulatory surgery centers in Texas. Patients from around the globe came for Dr. Grady to perform their RK in Lake Jackson. He was also a founding member of the International Keratorefractive Club and delighted in meeting with his international colleagues at the forefront of vision enhancement, and he remained a prominent member of the international ophthalmological community throughout his career. In addition to various surgeries, which he helped pioneer, Dr. Grady provided regular ophthalmological care to tens of thousands of people in the Brazosport community during his decades-long medical career at the practice now headed by his son, Jonathan.
In addition to serving patients locally, Dr. Grady joined with his friend, Dr. Tom Pruett, to provide sight-saving eye care to patients at a medical clinic in Juarez, Mexico, for many years. His clinic has provided care for thousands of individuals and was one of Dr. Grady’s proudest achievements.
When not serving patients, Dr. Grady enjoyed being a member of the Brazosport Rotary Club for over 40 years. He served as a board member of multiple community boards, including those of the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, the Jewish Community of Brazosport (JaCOB), and Brazosport Memorial Hospital.
Though he didn’t experience his first airplane ride until he was 23, he was an avid traveler always on the hunt for his next adventure. He was proud to have ventured to multiple countries on six continents. He was an ardent proponent of education who put all four of his children through college and graduate school (occasionally multiple graduate schools), and who was proud to support the local schools and community college with scholarships that allowed local high school students to attend dual-and-concurrent courses at Brazosport College. He was also a lifelong animal lover and will be missed dearly by his dogs, Abbey and Princess Charlotte (Charlie).
Frank is survived by his wife of 43 years, Donna, as well as his four children: Jonathan (wife Amanda and their children Benjamin and Rosie), of Lake Jackson; Brent, of Richwood and Rishikesh, India; Eric (wife Victoria and their daughter Julia), of Austin; and Emily Parell (husband William), of Louisville, KY.