From Ohio History Central
Cleveland doctors George W. Crile, Frank E. Bunts, William E. Lower, and John Phillips founded the Cleveland Clinic Foundation on February 5, 1921. The four men wanted to create a hospital in which medical experts worked together as a team. In addition, the new hospital also invested in medical research and education. Crile, Bunts, and Lower had worked together as a medical unit during World War I. They applied their wartime experiences to their new practice. The four men established the following goal for the Cleveland Clinic: "better care of the sick, investigation of their problems, and further education of those who serve."
The clinic grew rapidly, building a new hospital in 1924. Unfortunately, the foundation faced a major setback as a result of the Cleveland Clinic fire in May 1929. Dr. Phillips was among the 123 casualties of the fire, which was made worse by toxic fumes from burning nitro-cellulose x-ray film. Despite the tragedy and the subsequent onset of the Great Depression, the Cleveland Clinic survived and continued to grow.