Born On This Day ~ February 17 ~ René Laënnec


Born: February 17, 1781 (Quimper, France)
Died: August 13, 1826 (Ploare)

Famous For/Known For:
Physician and inventor of the stethoscope.

A Little About René Laënnec:
Born to parents Theophile Marie, s civil servent, and Michelle Felicite (Guesdon) Laënnec.

After the death of his mother from
tuberculisis, Laënnec went to live with his uncle who was the dean of the medical school at the University of Nantes.

In 1800, Laënnec was accepted to Ecole Pratique, a prestigious higher learning facility, where he studied anatomy and dissection.

By 1804 Laënnec had graduated medical school and was a faculty member at the Society of the School of Medicine in Paris.

Laënnec’s first stethoscope design was made of wood and only involved one ear to listen. Later, rubber tubing was used and the stethoscope was able to transmit sounds to both ears.

In 1819 his book, On Mediate Auscultation, was published which discussed the sounds of the organs that could be heard through the stethoscope. His method of listening to the sounds of the heart, lungs, and other organs to diagnose diseases was his greatest contribution to medical science.

In 1804, Laënnec was the first person to give a lecture about melanoma.

Laënnec went on to become a renowned lecturer and in 1822 the College of France appointed him  Professor of Medicine. A year later he became a member of the French Academy of Medicine.

It was Laënnec who wrote the definitions of the medical conditions, pneumonia, bronchiectasis, pleurisy, emphysema, and pneumothorax.

René Laënnec died from cavitating tuberculosis at the age of 45.

Books About/Written By René Laënnec:

*This blog post contains affiliate links.



  1. Nice, is was my father-in-laws birthday, Arnold George Hagley, born 17 February 1894, Died 10 March 1973. He fought in World War One 1914 – 1918, Serial No 25/1165, 3rd Battalion B Company.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s