Arturo Belleza Rotor was a medical doctor, a musician, and a writer. He was born in the Philippines on June 7, 1907. He attended the University of the Philippines, graduating from the Conservatory of Music and the College of Medicine concurrently. He trained further at Johns Hopkins University's medical school. During his time there he and his co-workers discovered a rare form of jaundice now known as "Rotor Syndrome." Rotor published a paper on the disease in 1948.
Rotor also was a civil servant, serving as Executive Secretary of the Philippine Commonwealth government-in-exile during World War II. Immediately after the war, he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Health and Welfare. He also served as director of the University of the Philippines' Postgraduate School of Medicine, and worked as a practicing internist until the early 1980s. Rotor's wife, Emma Unson, taught college mathematics and physics.
Additionally, Rotor was an accomplished musician and music critic. He shared a passion for orchids with his younger brother. He was a long-time member of the Philippine Orchid Society, and a Vanda orchid species known as Vanda merillii var. rotorii was named for him. His younger brother, Dr. Gavino B. Rotor, Jr. took his passion even farther, earning a doctoral degree from Cornell University on orchid biology and working as an authority on orchid propagation. The orchid genus Rotorara is named after Gavino.
Perhaps Rotor's greatest achievements came from his work as a writer. He was an esteemed writer of both fiction and non-fiction in English. Most critics consider him to be among the best Filipino short story writers of the twentieth century. He was also a charter member of the Philippine Book Guild, with his first work, The Wound and the Scar, serving as the guild's initial publication in 1937. In 1966, the Philippine government awarded him the Republic Cultural Heritage Award in recognition of his literary accomplishments. In addition to his first published work, Rotor's best-known literary works are Confidentially, Doctor published in 1965, Selected Stories from the Wound and The Scar, published in 1973, and The Men Who Play God published in 1983. One of his short stories, "Zita," can be found on the Internet.
Rotor died on April 9, 1988. He was survived by his wife. They had no children together.