Died: April 26, 1995
Married: Jean Moore Amory; Ursula Wyatt
Children: With Jean: Garry Trudeau, Jeanne Fenn, Michelle Trudeau
He was graduated from Yale University in 1942. He served in the Navy in World War II. He was graduated from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1950, and trained as an intern and resident at Bellevue Hospital and New York University; he took further training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. Dr. Trudeau practiced internal medicine in Saranac Lake from 1954 until his retirement in 1985. He was chief of medicine at the General Hospital from 1960 to 1977.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 11, 1982
SL's Dr. Trudeau makes own breaks with exercise as motivation
By GEOFF KNAPP Sports Editor
SARANAC LAKE - Dr. Francis Trudeau's athletic achievements extend along a lengthy winding road. The name of the road is Recovery.
The 61-year-old Saranac Lake native has rebounded from over seven major orthopedic problems, including a broken back and hip, to capture first place in the Masters 15-kilometer Cross-Country Ski Championships held Monday at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The event was a part of the Empire State Winter Games.
'Functional return' is a term which Trudeau uses to describe the ability to not only have an injury mended but to also regain full use of areas affected. The full recovery of an injured athlete involves a meticulous schedule of exercise but Trudeau believes that physical recovery is only 50 percent of the fight to a complete functional return.
The mental attitude of the athlete on the rebound is critical for an entire recovery, according to the healthy Trudeau.
The string of injuries started while a member of the Yale University ski jumping team in the late 1930s. A jump in the U.S. National Ski Jump competitions resulted in a broken back and numerous other related complications.
Fortunately for Trudeau, another competitor in the meet came to his aid and helped him to the stretcher. The doctor recalls that the help came from a man named Art Devlin.
After being transported in a hearse to the hospital (no ambulance was available). Trudeau was placed in a body cast which extended from his lower torso all the way to his neck.
Other complications stemmed from the injury including problems with joints and bone marrow infections.
Trudeau overcame the majority of problems related to the injury and pursued a Naval R.O.T.C career which began in 1942 in Tunisia, North Africa.
While serving overseas, the officer ran into further misfortune and seriously injured his knee. This time the recovery period included three years of being placed on crutches.
The Saranac Lake native returned to medical school in 1946 at New York City's Columbia University where he met sports medicine expert Hans Krauss. Krauss emphasized the theory of functional return to Trudeau who began a series of therapeutic exercises to regain full use of his leg in athletic activity.
Back in the North Country in the late '60s, the doctor received further guidance from Lake Placid's Dr Ed Hixson.
Hixson's guidance carried Trudeau back to the winter sports scene where he became a ski patrol at Whiteface Mountain.
Trudeau utilized his own experiences by putting his first-hand knowledge into practice in Saranac Lake.
The remarkable story became almost an epic for the determined doctor in 1979.
After returning from a trekking tour in the Himalayas, further misfortune struck. Trudeau slipped on an ice patch outside Lake Placid's Olympic Arena and the end result was a broken hip.
Dr. Craig Dumond from Ray Brook performed surgery which required a complete replacement of the hip. Dumond has since become chiefly responsible for the amazing comeback.
Dumond theorized that jogging would put too much pressure on the hip region but that the sliding action of cross-country skiing would act as an excellent exercise tool.
Trudeau has become very active in the sport of rowing where last summer he was vice-president of the Lake Placid Rowing Club.
Trudeau believes that motivation reaps one of the highest rewards possible— a bountiful life which includes constant activity.
The Evil Knievil of winter sports will continue to compete when he travels to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire Saturday where he will compete in the 50-kilometer Yukon Jack crosscountry ski race.
Trudeau strongly believes that good health is more than the absence of disease. He says that to get the full optimum of life there is only one medicine he prescribes— exercise.