Past-Presidents

James Ewing

James Ewing

1921-22

Born: 25 December 1866, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Died: 16 May 1943, New York

Academic Degrees

  • BA: Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, 1888
  • MD: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York City, New York, 1891 (influenced by Dr. T. Mitchell Prudden)

Academic Positions

  • 1892 - 1898 Assistant in Clinical Pathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York City
  • 1899 - 1932 Professor of Pathology at Cornell University, New York City (1 year after its founding); 1912 - 1913 Pathologist, Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases, New York City
  • 1913 - 1932 President, Medical Board and subsequently Director of Cancer Research, Memorial Hospital-Cornell University Medical College, New York City
  • 1932 - 1939 Director of the Hospital, Memorial Hospital-Cornell University Medical College

Training

  • 1891 - 1892 Internship, Roosevelt Hospital, New York City

Selected Career Highlights

  • During the Spanish War (1898) spent several months at Montauk Point, the camp for returned soldiers, and in an intensive study of malarial fever, made several significant contributions to the knowledge of malaria.

  • Wrote six papers on toxemia of pregnancy after his wife died of it during childbirth. Never remarried.

  • Published (1901) treatise, Clinical Pathology of the Blood, which was widely recognized and did much to arouse deep and general interest in the subject.

  • Joined Cornell one year after its founding and for the next 33 years, as one of its major faculty members, left a seminal imprint of his personality (brilliant, extremely knowledgeable, unlimited capacity for work, honest, loyal, generous, friendly and sincere interest in his students) upon students and teachers.

  • President of the Medical Board of Memorial Hospital, then Director of Cancer Research; upon retirement from the Chair of Pathology at Cornell was made Director of the Hospital.

  • His interest in tumors began with his early experience with lymphomas of dogs, transplantable tumors caused by a virus. He came in contact with James Douglas, a mining engineer/industrialist and together they approached managers of General Memorial Hospital, which accepted their proposal to confine the hospital's work to the study and treatment of cancer. Expanded clinical trials of radium therapy (which James Douglas' mine produced). Ewing recruited a group of physicians and put them in charge of various divisions.

  • Published (1919) his great work on tumors, Neoplastic Diseases, (the first book devoted to tumors), after 10 years of unremitting labor. This established him as an authority on tumors. Suggested that cancer was not a single disease with a single cause and thought that tumors should be classified by their site or organ of origin, not only with the established custom of classifying tumors according to their microscopic morphology.

  • Another significant contribution: Diffuse Endothelioma of Bone in Proceedings of the New York Pathological Society (1921) (Ewing's Tumor).

  • One of the founders of the American Society for the Control of Cancer (precursor to the American Cancer Society) and the Journal of Cancer Research.

  • On the cover of Time magazine for his war on cancer.

  • A group of his associates and former residents founded The James Ewing Society, now The American Society of Surgical Oncology

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