USC University of Southern California

Ostrow School of Dentistry Mourns Rex Ingraham, 99

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Rex Ingraham
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Rex Ingraham

September 23, 2013

Dr. Rex Ingraham, 1941 DDS graduate and preeminent faculty member of the Ostrow School of Dentistry, passed away on September 21, 2013 at the age of 99.

Born March 25, 1914, Ingraham grew up on a ranch on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. After graduating from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado, he arrived at the Ostrow School of Dentistry in 1937. He graduated with high honors in 1941 and was immediately offered a full-time instructor position within the Operative Dentistry department of the School.

By 1946, Ingraham had become chair of the Operative Dentistry department, a position he held until 1969. During that time, he authored two highly acclaimed and internationally used textbooks, An Atlas of Cast Gold Procedures and Gold Foil and Rubber Dam Procedures. He was also Associate Dean for Clinical Education from 1975 to 1976 and was chair of the Restorative Dentistry department from 1975 to 1979. He retired from teaching in 1981.

His books and research articles shaped dentistry profoundly and led to many major developments, such as his encouragement of the use of ultra-high-speed instrumentation. For his unparalleled influence on the profession, he became known as the “Father of Restorative Dentistry.”

Ingraham earned countless academic and professional honors throughout his career. In 1966, USC named him Distinguished Professor of Dentistry and named him Distinguished Professor Emeritus two years after his retirement.  USC also recognized him with several awards for volunteerism and service, including the Award of Merit, the Fred Olds Support Group Award, and the Half Century Trojan Award. And among many other professional awards, the Academy of Dentistry International named him International Dentist of the Year in 1983.

The Ostrow School of Dentistry inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 1976 and established an endowed chair in restorative dentistry in his name in 1979. The School also named the clinical facilities on the second floor of the Norris Dental Science Center the “Rex Ingraham Clinic” in his honor.

A memorial for Dr. Rex Ingraham will be held Saturday, October 26 at 11:00 AM at the Grand View Presbyterian Church, 1130 Ruberta Ave, Glendale, CA.