Growing up in Chicago, Whit attended Deerfield Academy, earned a Princeton degree in English, and got a medical degree from Northwestern University.
After a master’s in public health degree and work in public health service, Whit returned to Chicago as head of pulmonology at Cook County Hospital, later taking professorships at the medical schools of the University of Chicago and Northwestern. He created important programs to combat cystic fibrosis and TB and served as president of the Chicago Board of Health.
The recipient of numerous medical awards and author of more than 100 papers on pulmonary diseases, he served as president of the American College of Physicians and worked with the World Health Organization in Africa to eradicate malaria.
At Princeton, he ate at Colonial, for which he played hockey, was master of the toast for the Tuesday Night Euripides Club, and roomed in Lockhart with Keith Ballard, Peter Pettus, Stokley Towles, and Kim Townsend.
Described as “ebullient and deeply considerate of others,” Whit died peacefully Feb. 10, 2020, at his Chicago home. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ada; four daughters; and 11 grandchildren.