Howard W. Jones Jr., MD

Howard W. Jones Jr., MD

Howard W. Jones Jr., MD (July 31, 2015)

Howard Wilbur Jones Jr. died peacefully of respiratory failure at Sentara Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia on July 31, 2015. The pioneer of in vitro fertilization was 104 years old.

Howard Jones was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 30, 1910. Interestingly, he was delivered at home by an obstetrician who would be the father of his wife, Georgeanna Seegar. After attending Friends School in Baltimore, he enrolled at Amherst College where he graduated in 1931 with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Cum Laude). He then returned to Baltimore where he attended Johns Hopkins Medical School, graduating in 1935. After a residency in General Surgery he married Georgeanna Seegar in 1940. Theirs was a wonderful and loving family and professional partnership that lasted 65 years.

During World War II Howard joined the 5th Auxiliary Surgical Group. He was involved in the whole European theater.

Returning to Baltimore, he completed a residency in Gynecology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital under the mentorship of Dr. Richard TeLinde. He was then offered a faculty position at Hopkins where he became renowned as a skilled and innovative pelvic surgeon and teacher. He and his wife Georgeanna, who was the first Reproductive Endocrinologist at an academic program in the United States, were a formidable team in diagnosing and treating female infertility and reproductive problems.

After a long and very productive career as a surgeon, teacher and medical scientist at Johns Hopkins he and Georgeanna retired. But only temporarily… in 1978, when he was 68, they moved to Norfolk, Virginia joining Dr. Mason Andrews on the faculty at the new Eastern Virginia Medical School.

After much hard work and the contributions of many physicians and scientists at EVMS and others in the Norfolk community, Elizabeth Carr was born on December 28, 1981; She was the first successful IVF pregnancy in the United States. The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at EVMS became the world leader in developing IVF technology and training young reproductive endocrinologists throughout the world. Although he stopped seeing patients about 20 years ago, he continued to go in to his office nearly every day and attended clinical conferences and continued to work on ethical issues in reproduction. His last book, In Vitro Fertilization Comes to The United States, was published in December 2014.

Howard’s energy and enthusiasm carried over to his personal life and he enjoyed time with his wife his family at home, on vacation trips and on their boat in the Chesapeake Bay. They traveled the world, sharing their expertise and learning new medical methods and exploring new cultures. Georgeanna died in 2005 after 65 years of marriage. Howard is survived by his daughter, Georgeanna Jones Klingensmith, a pediatric endocrinologist in Denver and two sons, Howard W. Jones III, a gynecologic oncologist in Nashville and Lawrence M. Jones, a financial analyst in Denver. He had 7 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

He once said, "If I have a legacy, it’s of someone who... did not have any qualms about proceeding with the unknown, because it was fun to do."

– Submitted by Howard W. Jones III, MD

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