Alvin Crawford, MD, was one of four people recently named Great Living Cincinnatians by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Crawford is co-director of the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children's and a professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is one of the world’s top spine specialists. 

Crawford joined Cincinnati Children’s in 1977 as director of orthopedic surgery and remained chief for 29 years. He has lectured and performed surgeries in 38 countries and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, 63 chapters and six books.

He became one of the foremost authorities on video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, pioneering a procedure that uses rods to straighten the spine. Crawford is the only surgeon to be named as a Top 10 Educator in the first 100 years at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and he has made the list of the country's best doctors yearly since 2005. He is a 2008 inductee into the Hall of Fame of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Growing up in Memphis, Tenn., Crawford graduated from Tennessee State in 1960 with degrees in chemistry and biochemistry. He then attended the University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine where he became the college’s first African-American graduate.

Before joining Cincinnati Children’s, he completed a residency in Boston and several fellowships. Crawford has been married to his wife, Alva Jean, for 50 years. He is a father of two and has three grandchildren.

Others honored this year were Otto M. Budig Jr.Frances Pepper and George Schaefer Jr. They join 135 previous recipients of this prestigious award.

“The honorees this year represent the highest level of contribution and impact in their professional and personal endeavors. From the arts and social services, to medicine and business, our area is blessed to have their considerable influence and leadership,” says Ellen van der Horst, outgoing president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.