From The Cairman
                  Patrick C. Walsh, M.D.

 


Diamond Jim” Brady
1856-1917

 

James Buchanan Brady, the second son of a New York saloon operator, remains a legendary character from America's "Gilded Age," a thoughtful philanthropist whose legacy continues to fuel urological research.


Brady started working at the age of 11 to support his family, eventually getting a job selling special patented steel saws used for cutting railroad track. He soon developed an eye for diamonds and other jewels, and as his success as a salesman grew, so did his vast diamond collection, earning him the nickname, "Diamond Jim" Brady.

As renowned as he was for his business acumen, Brady, who consumed vast quantities of food daily, was also well known for his prodigious appetite. Culinary historians note that his breakfast often started with a gallon of orange juice, a half dozen eggs, pancakes, fish cakes, and chops, with a succession of larger meals throughout the day that culminated in a dinner including dozens of oysters and clams, terrapin, lobsters, roasted meats, and a variety of game birds.

In 1912, Brady, who was already suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, and other ailments, developed severe benign prostate difficulties. After undergoing successful treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital by Dr. Hugh Hampton Young, the evergrateful Brady endowed the urological institute that now bears his name, allowing research to flourish right from its inception.