MB ChB Glasgow 1953, MD 1963; MSc Manch 1974; FRCS Edin 1959; FRCS 1963.
Gillespie was born on 4 September 1931 and was educated in Glasgow. He held house positions in Glasgow before being awarded a grant from the MRC for research at the Western Infirmary Glasgow and Sheffield University. In 1959 Gillespie was appointed lecturer in surgery at Sheffield University and also went to America as a research fellow. From 1964 he was a lecturer in surgery at the University of Glasgow, later being promoted to titular professor. In 1970 Gillespie was appointed professor of surgery at the University of Manchester and honorary consultant surgeon at MRI, a position he retired from in 1992. He was dean of Manchester Medical School from 1983 to 1986. Gillespie was a member of a large number of professional societies, among them the British Society of Gastroenterology and the North of England Gastroenterology Society. He was president of Manchester Medical Society in 1993 and gave papers and lecture tours around the world.