A. James French

Adam James French


Born: 3 September 1912, Raton, New Mexico

Academic Degrees

  • BS: University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 1932
  • MD and MS: University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colorado 1936

Academic Positions

  • 1941 - 1980 Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, then full Professor of Pathology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1956 - 1980 Chairman, Department of Pathology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


  • General Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Children's Hospital, Denver, Colorado
  • St. Louis City Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Military Service

  • Army of the Unites States: 1st Lieutenant (Reserve Commision, 15 June 1936)
  • Captain 1941
  • Major, 1942; Lieutenant Colonel 1945
  • Honorable Discharge, May 1946

Selected Career Highlights

  • President of: the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists (1975-1976) The American Board of Pathology (1973) and the first Executive Director of the American Board of Pathology (1974-1979) (member of the Board 1962-1974); and the Michigan Society of Pathologists (1950-1951).

  • Chairman, American Medical Association Section Council on Pathology (1975-1976); Secretary-Treasurer of the College of American Pathologists (1969-1970).

  • Served as a Pathologist in the Army Medical Museum (1941-1942) and as Assistant Chief of Laboratories Division, Preventive Medicine Service in the Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D.C. (1942-1944).

  • Was the Third Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan over the first 80 years (preceded by Drs. Aldred Scott Warthin and Carl Vernon Weller).

  • Built the Department of Pathology at University of Michigan from 6 to 50 faculty positions during the 1950's and 1960's. Played a key role in the development of clinical pathology as a disciplinary part of pathology, and over the years consolidated the clinical laboratories at Michigan under the professional direction of the Department of Pathology.

  • Received many awards including: Pathologist of the Year (1973) from the CAP; Distinguished Service to Pathology Award (1977) from the ASCP/CAP.

  • In 1980 Dr. French stepped down from the Chair at University of Michigan and as noted by the Regents of the University in the Memoir granting Emeritus status to him upon his retirement, very few aspects of the service and teaching activities of the Department had to be changed by the new Chairman because of their excellent quality.


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