Requiem for a Classic: Tom Hixon (1940-2009) Tom Hixon, who died suddenly on March 21, 2009, at the age of 69, had a profound influence on people in our field, the scientific discourse among those people, and the professional ambiance of our discipline. His passing reminds us of the value of experience; the accumulation of knowledge ... SIG News
SIG News  |   October 01, 2009
Requiem for a Classic: Tom Hixon (1940-2009)
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gary Weismer
    Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Article Information
SIG News
SIG News   |   October 01, 2009
Requiem for a Classic: Tom Hixon (1940-2009)
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2009, Vol. 19, 92-98. doi:10.1044/ssod19.2.92
SIG 5 Perspectives on Speech Science and Orofacial Disorders, October 2009, Vol. 19, 92-98. doi:10.1044/ssod19.2.92
Tom Hixon, who died suddenly on March 21, 2009, at the age of 69, had a profound influence on people in our field, the scientific discourse among those people, and the professional ambiance of our discipline. His passing reminds us of the value of experience; the accumulation of knowledge and perspective across a lifetime of inquiry powered by a healthy skepticism; and the ability of one person, through careful, focused, and sometimes obsessive work, to discover and write the correct narrative to a critical aspect of speech physiology. Tom began his faculty appointment at the University of Wisconsin (before it was UW-Madison) in 1966, after receiving his PhD from the University of Iowa. A few years after arriving at UW, Tom went on a 2-year, post-doctoral hiatus at Harvard, where he studied with the noted respiratory physiologists Jere Mead and Mike Goldman. During those years, Tom collected the data that served as the basis for two monumental publications—Hixon, Goldman, and Mead (1973) and Hixon, Mead, and Goldman (1976)—that corrected the then-current understanding of speech breathing. It is an interesting, revealing, and ongoing story.
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