Dr. William H. Sinkler was the first African American to be appointed as a consultant in chest surgery. He also served as medical director at Homer G. Phillips Hospital (1941).
Sinkler was born on December 24, 1906, in Summerville, South Carolina. He attended Lincoln University where he graduated in 1928 and his M.D. from Howard University (D.C.) in 1932. Sinkler was a member of various fraternities, including the Kappa Pi Honorary Society while a student at Howard University Medical School.
After completing his studies, Dr. Sinkler relocated to St. Louis, Missouri where he was a junior intern, assistant resident in surgery and resident surgeon.
In 1938, Dr. Sinkler was appointed as consultant in chest surgery at Koch Hospital, he was the first African American to serve in the position. By 1941, Dr. Sinkler was serving as medical director of the Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Dr. Sinkler died of a heart attack on September 22, 1960, at the age of fifty-four.