Lester Reynold Dragstedt (2 October 1893 – 16 July 1975) was an American surgeon who was the first to successfully separate conjoined twins. He was considered nationally known, and a leading authority on ulcers and gastroneuro surgery.
Early life and education
Lester Reynold Dragstedt was born in Anaconda, Montana to Swedish emigrant parents. His younger brother, Carl Albert, also became a doctor and surgeon. In his youth, his father encouraged him to memorize poetry including Bible passages and fragments of famous speeches. He was valedictorian of his high school and was offered a scholarship to schools including the University of Chicago. Swedish physiologist Anton Julius Carlson was a long-time friend of the Dragstedts who was the local Lutheran minister but started teaching physiology at the University of Chicago and encouraged the Dragstedts to "send the boy to Chicago. They will found out in three months if he has any brains, and if he does not, you can bring him back