John Leeman Lewis, Jr., MD

John Leeman Lewis, Jr., MD

John Leeman Lewis, Jr., MD (September 16, 2012)

John Leeman Lewis Jr., was born in San Antonio Texas on June 5, 1929. He received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1952 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1957. After an internship and two years of a surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, he went to the NCI as a Clinical Associate in the Endocrinology Branch. He returned to Boston and in 1965 completed an OB/GYN residency at the Boston Lying-In Hospital. He returned to the NCI following his residency serving as a Senior Investigator in the Endocrinology Branch until 1967, when he moved to New York joining the OB/GYN Department of Columbia University. After one year at Columbia, John accepted the position of Chief of the Gynecology Service at Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases in New York. He was appointed as Attending Surgeon at Memorial Hospital and Associate Professor of OB/GYN at Cornell University Medical College.

Dr. Lewis was promoted to Professor of OB/GYN at Cornell in 1971 and became a Member of Sloan-Kettering Institute of Cancer Research in 1973. He remained the Chief of the Gynecology Service from 1968 until he stepped down in 1990. He continued to work at MSKCC as a Member of the Gynecology Service until he retired in 1994. During his tenure at MSKCC, John served as Associate Chair of Surgery for Surgical Research, Co-Coordinator, Field of Human Cancer of Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Chairman of the Institutional Review Board of MSKCC.

John served as the first Director of the Division of Gynecologic & Oncology of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is considered to have been the leader of the effort to establish the sub-specialty of Gynecologic Oncology with its dedication to the multi-disciplinary treatment of women suffering from gynecologic cancer.

During his long career, John published 26 text book chapters, 171 scientific articles, 11 review articles and 97 abstracts. He served on multiple editorial boards. His special interest was in malignant trophoblast disease where he was considered one the world experts.

John was a member of this society as well as the Society of Pelvic Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology and many of the prestigious professional organizations. He was President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. In 1994, John assumed the Chair of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation which he held until 1997.

John Leeman Lewis Jr., was clearly a giant in his field and greatly influenced hundreds of gynecologists and gynecologic oncologists. Many of his trainees have gone on to become national leaders in the field in their own right.

He died peacefully at his home in Birmingham Alabama on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. Dr. Lewis is survived by his wife, Elaine O. Lewis, and daughters Anne Lewis (Greg Johnson), Lizy Matthews (Will) and Kate Musso (Joe). Additional survivors include grandchildren Bill Matthews, John Matthews, Penelope Johnson, Angus Johnson and Eric Robinson, Marc Robinson, Tara Robinson and Grant Paul.

Submitted by William J. Hoskins, MD

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