Harry C. Bishop, 88, a pediatric surgeon who pioneered techniques for operating on newborns, died of heart failure May 4 at home in Haverford.

In 1954, Dr. Bishop was recruited to join Children's Hospital of Philadelphia by C. Everett Koop, the hospital's surgeon-in-chief.

Dr. Bishop had been chief pediatric surgical resident at Children's Hospital Boston, which had established the first pediatric surgical division in the country. In Philadelphia, Dr. Koop established the second in the late 1940s.

For the next 27 years, Koop and Dr. Bishop together developed surgical techniques that would be used around the world, including the Bishop-Koop operation to treat intestinal obstruction in babies. The men were able to surgically correct potentially fatal anatomical abnormalities.

In a statement from New Hampshire, where he lives, Koop said: "Philadelphia and the surgical world lost a warrior, and I lost a close friend and surgical partner. A warrior because Harry never found a surgical problem he did not try to fix. A friend and surgical partner because when I was away, Harry was there, and vice versa."

Dr. Bishop was calm and deliberate, and parents loved him, said Jack Downes, former chief of the department of anesthesiology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He was wise and well-read on all the pediatric literature, Downes said.

Dr. Bishop was also a talented administrator, Downes said. In the 1960s, Dr. Bishop was president of the medical staff at Children's Hospital, and Downes was on the planning committee for the first pediatric intensive-care unit in the country. The hospital was in tight quarters in an old building on Bainbridge Street, Downes said.

"Harry came in one morning and said he had figured out a four-way move to shift wards to carve out a small ICU unit," and he made it work, Downes said.

In 1974, Dr. Bishop helped organize the hospital's move to University City.

Koop left Children's Hospital in 1981 to become deputy assistant secretary for health in what is now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and nine months later he became surgeon general.

Dr. Bishop remained at the hospital for 10 more years, retiring in 1991. He once estimated that he had operated on 9,000 children during his 37 years at Children's Hospital. He was also professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

He lectured all over the world and was elected to the British Pediatric Surgical Society and the German Pediatric Society. He was the author or a coauthor of 78 scientific publications.

Dr. Bishop graduated from Great Neck High School in Nassau County, N.Y., and earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College. He attended Dartmouth Medical School, graduated from Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He served in the Army Medical Corps in Wyoming and Kansas.

In addition to his residency at Children's Hospital Boston, Dr. Bishop completed surgical residencies at Mary Imogene Hospital in Cooperstown, N.Y., and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

In 1984, he married Deborah Dilworth Bishop, whom he had met a lecture at Penn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Dr. Bishop loved sailing in the Caribbean and on the Chesapeake and puttering around the garden, his wife said. He fashioned boat models and other woodworking projects and was a skilled electrician and plumber, she said.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Bishop is survived by sons Robert and Thomas; a daughter, Katharine Kilmurray; stepchildren William, Daisy, and Noel Newbold; four grandchildren; and a brother. He was predeceased by his former wife, Katharine Thayer.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. June 6 at Christ Church, Second and Market Streets.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.