Goethe Link


Honorary Degree (1958)
Doctor of Science
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Herman B Wells


Dr. Goethe Link was a noted Indianapolis surgeon whose specialty was the treatment of goiter and thyroid problems. He is known for developing many innovative surgical techniques for these conditions. He was born in Pike County Indiana and went to high school in Petersburg. Dr. Link first attended Wabash College then came to IU only for the 1896-1897 school year. He later graduated from the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, Indianapolis, in 1902. He was one of the founders of the Indiana University Medical School and practiced in the Indianapolis area until well into his 80's. By 1970 he had performed over 22,000 operations on the thyroid.

Dr. Link received many honors for his medical work, and patients traveled from all over the world to seek his treatment. He will long be remembered for the extraordinary breadth of his other interest and activities. He was a pioneering American aeronaut who won the National Balloon Race in 1909. He was an accomplished naturalist whose studies of humming bird behavior and herpetology (snakes) were made at Tanager Hill, his country home in Morgan county where he lived for much of his later years. Dr. Link built a 36-inch telescope at Tanager Hill in 1937 to satisfy his growing interest in astronomy. This observatory was donated to Indiana University in 1947 and named the Goethe Link Observatory. In acknowledgement of his astronomical contributions, Dr. Link was elected a Patron of the American Astronomical Society in 1940 and a minor planet (asteroid) discovered at the Goethe Link Observatory was named for him in 1968.