Wilder P. Montgomery, 85, a retired Washington physician and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Howard University, died of renal failure Nov. 1 at home in Washington. Dr. Montgomery had a private practice in internal medicine in Washington until retiring in 1968. He served as a consultant to the federal government on black lung disease and as a consultant to the D.C. penal system in pulmonary diseases. In 1951 he became the first black physician to be named to the District Board of Police and Fire Surgeons.
Dr. Montgomery, a lifelong resident of Washington, graduated from Dunbar High School and Dartmouth College, where he was summa cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He attended two years of medical schools at Dartmouth and received his medical degree from Rush Medical College at the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society. He did his medical internship at Youngstown Hospital in Ohio and had a fellowship in pulmonary disease at the Phipps Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
He was attending physician for the D.C. Chest Clinic and for 33 years directed the chest clinic at Freedman's Hospital, which now is Howard University Hospital. During his years in private practice, Dr. Montgomery served on the medical staffs of Washington Hospital Center, Howard University Hospital and Capitol Hill Hospital. He was a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, a member of the appeals council of the disability branch of Social Security and a trustee of the American Lung Association and Children's Hospital.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Doris A Montgomery of Washington; two sons, Dr. Gordon Montgomery of San Diego and Dr. Stephen W. Montgomery of Roswell, N.M.; a brother, James Montgomery of Washington; and four grandchildren.