Cover photo for Sam Emerson Kinney's Obituary
Sam Emerson Kinney Profile Photo

Sam Emerson Kinney

March 27, 1939 — August 29, 2022

Columbia, MO

Sam Emerson Kinney


Sam Emerson Kinney, Age 83, was born in Shaker Heights, OH March 27, 1939 and attended Hawken School and graduated from Shaker Heights High School. He attended Denison College where he met his wife, Sally Eckert Kinney (4/8/1940-9/5/2021).

He graduated with his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and completed a residency in Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. He spent two years in the Air Force as a general medical officer then moved to Las Angeles, CA for a one-year fellowship in Neuro otology at the House Ear Institute. He returned to Cleveland, OH to join the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he pioneered what is now modern day otologic/neuro-otologic surgery. He was a teacher and mentor to many of today’s Ear, Nose and Throat doctors through the residency training program at the Cleveland Clinic. He became world-renowned for ear surgery, traveling to care for kings and being a distinguished lecturer internationally. During his career, he became a Triological Society Fellow in 1976. He was inducted into the American Otological Society (AOS) in 1981 and the American Neurotology Society (ANS) in 1979. He served as president of ANS in 1994-95, served on the council of AOS for 8 years, and he was president of AOS in 2005. He received the “Award of Merit” in 2011 from the AOS, the highest and most prestigious honor one can receive from the AOS. His certificate stated: “With thanks for your leadership and many contributions to the American Otological Society and to the discipline of Otology and Neurotology”.

Sam Emerson Kinney was born to Charles E. Kinney, MD and Peggy Emerson Kinney  March 27th 1939.  He was preceded in death by his brother Charles E. Kinney, Jr. He married the late Sally Eckert Kinney, his best friend and life partner of almost 60 years, and was the beloved father of Sam E. Kinney, Jr. (Winifred) of Miami, FL and William C. Kinney Sr (Bridgid) of Columbia, MO ; dear grandfather of Sam Emerson Kinney, III, Matthew Neville Kinney, John Barry Kinney, William Charles Kinney, Jr., and Sarah Ruth Kinney; dear step-grandfather of Joseph M. Fuster, Alexander K. Fuster, Maximillian J. Fuster and Helen K. Miller. He is survived by cousins Arthur Pape, Janet Pape Pilarowski, Taylor Pape, James Pape, Kate Shockey Lafrance, and Terry Shockey. 

Those who wish may make contribution in his name to the Children’s Guild Endowment of The Cleveland Foundation, 1422 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH, 44115.

 A Celebration of his life will be held Sunday, October 9th at 11am in The Country Club, 2825 Lander Rd, Pepper Pike, OH, 44124.  Those who wish to view this service virtually may click the link below.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, October 9, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)


Click to watch

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