Exactly two weeks ago today, Dr. Howard Jones passed away at the age of 104. Dr. Jones lived an incredibly long and very rich life as one of the most famous surgeons America has ever known. Jones had a medical career that spanned over 75 years, and in those 75 years he accomplished more than many of us could dream of accomplishing in a lifetime. Dr. Jones served as a battlefield surgeon in World War II, worked at Johns Hopkins as a reproductive surgeon, founded the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, and continued contributing to the medical community up until his death. What Jones is most famous for, however, is pioneering a whole field of reproductive surgery with his wife: in-vitro fertilization.
Dr. Jones was 70 years old when, in 1981, he and his wife (physician Georgeanna Jones, a woman with an equally reputable medical career as her husband) ushered in the birth of the first American child born through IVF. Since that day, over 5 million people have been born worldwide thanks to in-vitro fertilization.
The Jones’s went on to become international spokespeople for the field of reproductive medicine, and were even invited to advise the pope on IVF. Both remained professionally active until very late in their lives, and continued to adapt to and embrace modern medical technology, encouraging others in the field to do so as well.
If we could detail every interesting facet of Dr. Jones’s life, then we definitely would. Unfortunately, it would take days to even begin to scratch the surface of the work Dr. Jones and his wife contributed to the medical community.
We lost an amazing man, and an amazing woman just ten years earlier. All we can say is that we’re so incredibly grateful for everything Howard and Georgeanna accomplished during their time here on earth, and for the lives that they’ve impacted.