Edward Wright Mulligan will be best remembered as a tireless, caring physician and surgeon as well as a champion of the study of the history of medicine. Born in Ontario, Canada he moved first to Illinois and then to Portland Oregon, where he taught school prior to his enrollment in Rush Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Mulligan came to Rochester, New York in 1882 and joined the practice of Dr. Jonas Jones. He did post graduate work at New York Hospital Medical School and interned at Bellevue. In 1896, he became resident physician at the Rochester City Hospital and joined the staff two years later. Dr. Mulligan held the position of Chief of Surgery at Rochester General Hospital from 1917-1923 and was influential and very interested in the development of the University of Rochester Medical School's new hospital, Strong Memorial.
Dr. Mulligan was a close friend of George Eastman's, as well as Mr. Eastman's personal physician and frequent traveling companion, one of his few activities outside of the practice of medicine. An avid interest in the history of medicine led him to donate money to the University of Rochester for the purpose of purchasing historical books resulting in the Mulligan Collection at the University of Rochester's E.G. Minor Library.
Dr. Mulligan was an enthusiastic educator and started Rochester General Hospital's "Sunday Conferences" for the purpose of staff education in 1921. He was also one of the founders of the Rochester Academy of Medicine and a member of the American College of Surgeons.