Misinformation was spreading, including reports that Mr. Brady had died.
Dr. O’Leary told The New York Times that he had never appeared before a television camera as a public spokesman before. Nor had he been directly involved in treating the president. Yes, his father was a journalist, Dr. O’Leary said, and “he taught me my command of the English language, but he didn’t teach me how to do this.”
Dennis Sophian O’Leary was born on Jan. 28, 1938, in Kansas City, Mo. His father, Theodore, was a magazine editor and wrote articles for Sports Illustrated and book reviews for The Kansas City Star. His mother, Emily (Sophian) O’Leary, also worked for The Star.
When Dennis was 7 years old and his uncle Bud was killed in combat during the Allied invasion of France in World War II, his mother’s parents decided on what the boy’s profession would be.
“Grandfather and Grandmother Sophian determined that I was going to become a doctor like Uncle Bud and that one day I was going to join Grandfather Sophian in his Kansas City internal medicine practice,” Dr. O’Leary recalled in a memoir, “Calming America” (2022), which he wrote with his wife, Dr. Margaret R. O’Leary, an emergency medical specialist.
“I was perfectly content with the new plan,” he wrote, “even though I didn’t know what being a doctor meant.”
He received his bachelor’s degree in a pre-med program from Harvard College in 1960 and his medical degree from Cornell University in 1964. He trained in internal medicine and hematology at the University of Minnesota Hospitals (now the University of Minnesota Medical Center) and at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y.
From 1969 to 1972, Dr. O’Leary fulfilled his military service by heading the blood coagulation unit in the hematology laboratory at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He attained the rank of major. He joined the faculty of George Washington University Medical School in 1972 and was promoted to dean for clinical affairs in 1979.