Samuel Upchurch (1909–1968) was born in Clanton, Alabama on April 13, 1909. He died at the age of 59 at University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He started his undergraduate education at the Citadel in Charleston, SC in 1925 and later finished his A.B. degree at Vanderbilt University in 1929. He stayed at Vanderbilt to complete his M.D. degree in 1933 and then began his surgical training at Duke University.
He became Chief Resident in Surgery and stayed on the Duke faculty as Instructor in Surgery. He then trained in plastic surgery in St. Louis under Drs. Barrett Brown, Frank McDowell, and Louis Byars.
During World War II, he was ordered to active duty and installed as a Major in the Surgical Division of the 65th General Hospital, which was sent to England for the duration of the war. He ultimately became Regional Consultant in Plastic Surgery for the Eighth Air Force.
After the war, he returned to St. Louis for an additional year of training with the plastic surgical group, and in 1947 he moved to Birmingham, Alabama and became the pioneer plastic surgeon in Alabama. He was soon made Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery. He published numerous scientific articles and was an investigator in the use of silicones as a soft tissue substitute.
He was President of the Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in 1964.
Upon his death, his wife, Ann (Samford) Upchurch, bequeathed to the Society the funds for the establishment of the Upchurch Educational Fund and the annual Upchurch Lectureship. An amount not to exceed $15,000 annually will be transferred into the revenue account of the Annual Meeting for educational speaker expenses. This fund has a corpus of $500,000. If the balance falls below this the funds will not be transferred.