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Dr Howard Jones, IVF pioneer, dies at 104

3 August 2015
Appeared in BioNews 813

Dr Howard W. Jones, a pioneer of IVF in the United States, has died at the age of 104.

In 1979 – one year after the birth of the first IVF baby in the UK – he and his wife, Dr. Georgeanna Jones, opened the first IVF clinic in the United States at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. They had both retired from their previous jobs at Johns Hopkins University. The first IVF baby in the United States was born at their clinic in 1981, when Dr Jones was himself 70 years old.

'There are few people who inspire you when you first meet them. Dr. Jones was one of those individuals. He exuded an enthusiasm and a curiosity, and he was intellectually keen and extraordinarily bright, yet humble and human and approachable. He was the consummate scholar, academician and physician and a role model for all of us to emulate,' said Dr Richard Homan, President and Provost of the Eastern Virginia Medical School, to CBS News.

Dr Jones was born in 1910 and married Georgeanna Seegar in 1940. They worked together throughout their lives. He officially retired (a second time) in 1997, but continued to write and attend conferences until last month.

In 1984 he helped to establish an ethics panel, which later became the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

He was the author of 12 books, including his memoir In Vitro Fertilization Comes to America: A Memoir of a Medical Breakthrough, which was published in December 2014. 

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Dr. Howard Jones, pioneer behind first U.S. IVF baby, dies at 104
CBS News |  31 August 2015
Howard Jones, doctor who pioneered in vitro fertilization, dies at 104
Washington Post |  08/15
Surgeon Howard Jones, who pioneered IVF, dies at 104
USA Today |  08/15
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