James B. Snow, Jr.

March 12, 1932 - May 28, 2022 West Grove, PA | Age 90

James Byron Snow, Jr. died at peace May 28, 2022, in West Grove, PA. He was the son of Charlotte Louise Andersen and James Byron Snow and was born in Oklahoma City March 12, 1932. During World War II, the family lived in San Antonio, TX while his father, a prominent pediatrician, was stationed at the Brooke General Hospital on Fort Sam Houston. Jim graduated from Central High School, Oklahoma City as valedictorian. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, earning a B.S. with distinction in 1953. He married Sallie Lee Ricker on July 16, 1954, in Tulsa, OK, and they had two sons and one daughter. He received his M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1956. Dr. Snow served his surgical internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and took his residency in otolaryngology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, MA. During 1960-61 he served as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Korea where he was the only otolaryngologist in the Eighth US Army.

After his military service, Dr. Snow joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City where he received the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching. He rose to Professor and Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. In 1972 he assumed the same position at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Snow published more than 150 articles in professional and scientific journals describing his work on the pathophysiology of the inner ear, the olfactory system and the treatment of head and neck cancer with combined surgery and radiation therapy. He wrote books entitled Introduction to Otorhinolaryngology, and Controversy in Otolaryngology, co-authored Smell and Taste in Health and Disease, and edited Ballenger’s Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery through several editions (including the 100th anniversary edition), and Manual of Ballenger’s Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and Tinnitus: Theory and Management. Dr. Snow was responsible for the training of over 80 specialists in his field. During his academic career, he was active in organized medicine serving as a Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology, on the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association, as Regent of the American College of Surgeons and as President of the American Bronchoesophagological Association and American Laryngological Association.

In 1990 Dr. Snow became the first Director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. As Director, he organized the new Institute and recruited many distinguished scientists in research on hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. Dr. Snow encouraged the application of molecular biology to the study of disorders of human communication. He served as liaison between NASA and the National Institutes of Health. In 1991, Dr. Snow was inducted into the Society of Scholars of Johns Hopkins University, and in 1993 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Deafness Research Foundation. Dr. Snow received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award for his government service. Following retirement in 1997, he served as President of the international Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum and presided at its annual meeting in Washington, DC in 2000, only the third time the meeting was held in the United States since 1926. Dr. Snow served as Convener/Correspondent of the Tinnitus Research Consortium. Subsequently, the James B. Snow, Jr., M.D. Tinnitus Research Award was established in his honor by the Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum Amicitiae Sacrum. In 2003, he received the Award of Merit of the American Otological Society. He was active in St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, PA.

The sine qua non of his life, Sallie Lee Ricker Snow, his wife of 53 years, passed on to the next life in 2007. He is survived by his sons, James B. Snow III and his wife, Susan D. Sprenger, of Wilmington, NC, and John Andrew Snow and his wife, Meryl Bilotta Snow, of Wayne, PA; his daughter, Sallie Lee Snow Sharer and her husband, Daniel J. Sharer, of Downingtown, PA; five grandchildren: Gabrielle Lippitt Snow and her husband, Brendan James Ward; Ricker Lippitt Snow and his wife Emily Acuña Snow; Kelly Anne Snow and her husband, Brian Christopher Blacker, and Sallie Lee Elaine Sharer, and James Daniel Sharer; five great-grandchildren: Juna, Willow, Oliver, Luna, and Astrid, and cousins, William “Bill” Louie Andersen and his wife, Loretta C. Andersen, of Norman, OK, formerly of Calumet, OK, and Ray Paul Snow and his wife, Suzanne, of Garland, TX, and their descendants. He will be missed by Anna Jane Mercer, who he described as his “dearest companion” in his dedication of the 18th edition of Ballenger’s Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. We all mourn his passing.

A Burial Service will be held at the Auditorium at the Alison Building at Jenners Pond, 2000 Greenbriar Lane, West Grove, PA, 19390 (610) 869-6801, at 10 a.m., on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
A private, family-only Commitment will follow graveside at Oxford Cemetery, 220 North 3rd St., Oxford PA, at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution to Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community Benevolent Fund, 2000 Greenbriar Lane, West Grove PA 19390, may be made.

Memorial Donations

Jenner's Pond Retirement Community Benevolent Fund

2000 Greenbriar Lane
West Grove PA 19390


Memorial Service

June 21, 2022 10 AM Auditorium at the Alison Building at Jenners Pond
2000 Greenbriar Lane
West Grove, PA, 19390


  1. Dr. Snow was a gentleman surgeon, outstanding teacher of his Residents in training and devoted to the Medical community. His principles and teaching methods were admired and well known…best Diagnostician in Otolaryngology Surgery/Medicine that I ever knew…..I was honored to be one of his Residents at HUP from 1978-1981. The combination of Dr. Snow and Dr. Lowry during that time was excellent for teaching plus the fact they were both Midwesteners like myself, made me feel right at home. When I last saw Dr. Snow at the unveiling of his portrait for the Otolaryngology Dept. I was told of his wife, Sallie, and her passing . I always knew he was devoted to her and his family. My heartfelt sympathy to his family ….my thanks to your Dad for his influence on my life. Eric J Carlson MD FACS

    Eric J Carlson MD. FACS | July 5, 2022 at 9:24 PM
  2. I believe I am the last resident to graduate from Dr. Snow’s Otorhinolaryngology (ORL Department) program at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, OK. Only a few of his Oklahoma University graduates remain alive. All appreciated their time with Dr. Snow. All that graduated passed their Board exams on their first application. Both he and Sallie were wonderful people that made our time in residency years to be treasured. Our program before Dr. Snow came was managed by very dedicated local practitioners who chose him wisely to become the full time head of the Department. He built it into a program with respected research and training programs with superb a ORL faculty while maintaining great relationships with the surrounding practicing Otolaryngologists who continued to support the program and benefited from its continuing medical education services. His work to strengthen and energize the department before he left helped it hire all subsequent department heads who were able to withstand later attacks by a then ill intentioned university administrator plus keeping the Department independent. Our ORL Department remains a well respected training and research department due to Dr. Snow’s foundational leadership and those that followed him. So many of us were blessed with his presence in our lives and many patients in years to come will continue to benefit from his work and life. My wife and I pass our condolences to his children and family.
    Joseph E. Leonard, MD, FACS

    Joseph E. Leonard, MD, FACS | June 17, 2022 at 11:39 AM
  3. Dr. Snow was the consummate professor, physician, and surgeon. His dedication to his patients, medical students, residents, and faculty is well known. I was fortunate to have him as my “Chief”. Knowing him has made my life and lives of so many others much better. What a fine and lasting legacy! Thank you and rest in peace Dr. Snow.

    Lawrence WC Tom | June 16, 2022 at 5:09 PM
  4. Condolences to Dr. Snow’s family. He has influenced many generations of surgeons and physicians. I am grateful for his contribution to mentoring my mentors and leading a department that I have learned from. Sending thoughts to his family and everyone touched by his life.

    Mary Jue Xu | June 15, 2022 at 5:38 AM
  5. James B. Snow, Jr ,M.D. was the quintessential Professor. I am ever grateful for his mentorship and I am certain I speak for all my fellow Otorhinolaryngology (never say ENT!) residents who were under his tutelage that to this day we remember his pearls of wisdom at Grand Rounds and amazing lectures. He set a high standard of professionalism which has aided us to this day. Thank you Dr. Snow for laying a strong foundation for our careers and may we meet again in the Heavenly Jerusalem!

    Ricardo Arturo Roa, M.D.,FACS | June 14, 2022 at 11:17 PM
  6. Dr. Snow was my med school faculty advisor at Penn and later my chairman during my residency at Penn. He had a great impact on my
    career. He was the consummate teacher. Drs. Telian and Levine would agree. My condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

    Thomas V Boran | June 14, 2022 at 10:16 PM
  7. Dr. Snow was one of the giants on whose shoulders we all stand. I was privileged and blessed to meet him as a medical student at Penn and he helped convince me to become an otolaryngologist. As chair and professor at Penn he taught a broad array of skills in otolaryngology, but all lessons were couched in the wise adage that he lived by: “If you are not sure what to do, just do the right thing.”

    Robert D Klausner, MD | June 14, 2022 at 3:47 PM
  8. I never had the opportunity to train with Dr. Snow directly, however, through my NIH submissions over the years, he was directive, thoughtful, considerate and told it like it was. I learned a great deal from him in a peripheral manner, and what he contributed to our specialty clearly makes him one of the greatest educators and leader our membership has ever known. Such a kind , quiet and respectful person he was and he will be missed by everyone he ever touched. May he rest in peace and know his work here is done.

    Michael D. Seidman | June 14, 2022 at 12:04 AM
  9. I echo Dr. Telian’s remarks. He was a great teacher and mentor, and his wise words guided me during residency and for decades to follow. Teaching is a selfless act, and he poured his heart and mind into that effort. I have and always shall be grateful.

    Steven B Levine | June 13, 2022 at 5:55 PM
  10. Dr. Snow was my Professor and Chief during residency, sponsored my fellowship and recruited me to my first academic faculty position. He was the consummate physician-surgeon and a deeply committed educator. Rounds were at 7:15 each morning, and you could set your watch when the elevator doors opened. Several of his graduates had planned to arrange a visit to see him when in Philadelphia for the fall meeting in September. Alas, that opportunity has passed. I remain ever in his debt, and thankful for his shaping influence as a man and as a physician.

    Steven A. Telian | June 13, 2022 at 3:53 PM
  11. Dr. James B. Snow, Jr., a caring, exacting, and inspiring academic otorhinolaryngologist spotted my ambivalence toward medicine when I was an unhappy student at Penn Med over 35 years ago. Dr. Snow nurtured my interest in auditory research, defended my undistinguished transcript, and created extraordinary opportunities. Dr. Snow welcomed me to our wonderful specialty and motivated me to join the Professoriate at the University of California. Dr. Snow was my consequential teacher.

    Steven W. Cheung | June 11, 2022 at 5:57 PM
  12. Dr. Snow was a classic example of stylist professionalism. We found him to be a loyal, dedicated and caring brother in Christ. May he rest in peace, and may the God of ALL grant his entire family comfort, assurance and peace. Thank you Jim for being who you were.

    Bud and Kathy Hart | June 9, 2022 at 1:03 PM

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