CHEV. DR. ANDREA DE LUCIS, M. D.
Nearly forty years ago, Chev. Dr. Andrea De Lucis arrived in San Francisco from sunny Italy and soon after hung
his shingle outside his office door in Columbus avenue (then Montgomery avenue). The Italian colony was at that
time comparatively small, and the few Italian professional men that were here were waging a bitter war against
each other, each of them hoping thus to get whatever patronage there was. And as Dr. De Lucis had gained much distinction
in Italy both as a practitioner and author of several important scientific publications as his Semiology of the
Lungs and Heart, Tuberculosis of the Brain, Ossification, and others, which had attracted the attention of the
medical world, so he soon enough became the target for the poison tipped arrows flung at him from ambush. But Dr.
De Lucis being of a nature not easily to be dismayed, stood his ground and took no notice of the anonymous onsets,
went straight to work and devoted himself to suffering humanity. The result was that in a comparatively brief time
his merit was recognized by everyone both as a doctor and a learned man, and from there on he rose rapidly in his
profession. Endowed with an iron constitution, a scholar, who unites the love of study with a disposition to active
employment two qualities which are seldom found in the same man possessing a mind elevated above sordid views,
indefatigable activity and constancy, which no disappointment, no misfortune could ever shake, eminently qualified
him to occupy first place in his profession among his countrymen. And today the name of Dr. De Lucis stands as
that of a beloved and revered benefactor among the Italians of California, many of whom bless his name every day
for having prolonged their lives. The wonderful success attained by Dr. De Lucis can only be measured by the confidence
which the larger part of the Italian community and many Americans repose in him, and the great esteem in which
he is held in his own native town and among the most eminent scientific men in Italy, as Professor Guido Baccelli,
former Minister of Public Education, Professor Morselli, Cesare Lombroso, De Renzi, Maragliano, Concats, and other
not less distinguished cultors of the medical science. During office hours the waiting rooms are always crowded
with suffering people seeking relief from Dr. De Lucis' knowledge, stored by him in fifty years of practice and
many more of continuous study. In private life he is very much esteemed and liked by his friends. Being endowed
with jovial spirits he relishes the pleasure of society and he entertains lavishly at his villa in Kentfield, Margin
county, during the summer months, and in his mansion in San Francisco during the winter. Among his acquaintances
he loves to unbend his mind from the severer cares by indulging in familiar conversation, and the sallies, wit
and humor to which he has a strong propensity, notwithstanding the grave tone of his general character, are always
a treat to his hearers.
Dr. De Lucis was born in Mondovi, an ancient and picturesque city in the province of Cuneo, northern Italy. After
graduating from the high school and higher courses at the National College and Royal Lyceum Beccania in Mondovi,
he attended the universities of Palermo and Genoa and finally was graduated from the University of Turin in 1881.
As soon as he received his diploma, Dr. De Lucis decided to devote himself to his profession and forthwith entered
the Italian army as lieutenant in the medical staff, where he remained for several years in the military hospitals
at Palermo, Genoa and Alexandria. From then on his career was rapid and brilliant, and his fame as a physician
and surgeon began to soar by leaps and bounds. So much so that in 1884 Agostino Depretis, then premier of Italy,
to whom the name of the young doctor was not unknown, appointed Dr. De Lucis as director of the government pesthouse
near Busea, when the cholera broke out in the province of Cuneo, taking so many lives. At the end of the terrible
scourge, Dr. De Lucis was highly commended by the Italian government and King Humbert wished to congratulate personally
the young and distinguished doctor. We may say that the same spirit of abnegation and humanity that he exhibited
then, animated him also in 1918 when the flu broke out in San Francisco. Dr. De Lucis then knew no rest in his
endeavor to bring relief to many afflicted by the dangerous epidemic and many today owe him their lives for his
prompt and successful treatment.
Dr. De Lucis later on was appointed professor of Natural Science in the public schools. Yet his dynamic vigor was
not exploited in the discharge of his professional duties, attending to his numerous clientele, visiting daily
the hospitals and teaching in schools, and he was looking for other fields to place his intelligence and ingenuity
at the service of mankind. It was at that time that he inaugurated the Warm Springs at the Sanctuary of Mondovi,
which today are renowned throughout Italy for their beneficial and invigorating power.
In 1894 a compelling desire to enrich his mind with knowledge of foreign countries lured him to cross the Atlantic
and he came to San Francisco, having decided also to visit the Orient. But he was soon attracted by our beautiful
climate, the picturesque character of our city, the hospitality and adventurous spirit of its citizens and the
magnificent bay and seven hills of San Francisco, the first resembling that of Naples, the latter those historic
hills of Rome. And Dr. De Lucis concluded that living here was almost like living in Italy and went no farther.
And he has remained here ever since, but for the interval of several months in 1921, when he paid a visit to his
native land and received such an enthusiastic reception in his home town befitting only a returning conqueror,
and accorded only to few statesmen, scientific men and great artists at the zenith of their career and popularity.
All the people of Mondovi were at the depot awaiting his arrival the arrival of their generous and honorable fellow
citizen, who during the long years of his voluntary exile never forgot for a single instant the city in which he
Dr. De Lucis loves Italy intensely, with that pure and holy love which swells the breast of every true Italian
man, but he also loves America ardently. And as an American citizen he has sincerely at heart the welfare and prosperity
of the United States, and at the outbreak of the war he entered the volunteer medical service of the United States
Medical Corps, approved by the Council of National Defense and President Wilson, and was enrolled as a member November
9, 1918. Thus we say that such men as Dr. De Lucis greatly contribute to increase the prestige of Italy abroad,
because in honoring themselves they honor their native country.
(From San Francisco Tribune, August 21, 1925.)
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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