Sims, J. Marion (James Marion), 1813-1883

Alternative names
Birth 1813-01-25
Death 1883-11-13

Biographical notes:

James Marion Sims was born January 25, 1813 in Hanging Rock near Lancaster, South Carolina. After attending Lancaster schools he graduated from the South Carolina College in 1832. He attended the Medical College of South Carolina for one semester before leaving to complete his medical education at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1855. He briefly returned to Lancaster after graduation but moved to Alabama in October 1835, finally settling in Montgomery. He practiced general medicine for several years before becoming interested in the vesico-vaginal fistulae caused by the act of childbirth. He made his name as a surgeon by practicing techniques and inventing instruments, including silver wire sutures, aimed at repairing this damage. He moved to New York City, in part for health reasons, and soon established his practice there. He was instrumental in the establishment of the nation's first hospital for women in 1853. In addition to diseases of women, Sims was interested in cancer and worked to establish the New York Cancer Hospital (now the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital). Sims died in New York on November 13, 1883.

From the description of J. Marion Sims Letters. 1858-1859; 1880-1881. (Medical University of South Carolina Library). WorldCat record id: 18932255

New York gynecologist.

From the description of Papers, 1860-1867 and undated. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 35359408

James Marion Sims (1813-1883) was a surgeon noted for his pioneer work in gynecology and cancer operations and for his part in founding the Woman's Hospital (now a division of St. Luke's Hospital) in New York City.

From the description of J. Marion Sims papers, 1835-1884 [manuscript]. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 23438203

From the guide to the J. Marion Sims Papers, 1835-1884, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)


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  • Cancer--Treatment--History--19th century
  • Medicine--Practice--History--19th century
  • Ovarian diseases--therapy--19th century
  • Gynecology--Practice--History--19th century
  • Women's Health--history
  • Genital Diseases, Female--history
  • Surgeons--History--19th century
  • Diphtheria
  • Women--Health and hygiene--History--19th century
  • Uterine diseases--therapy--19th century
  • Gynecology--history--19th century
  • Physicians--History--19th century
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures--history
  • Ovarian cysts--therapy--19th century


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  • New York (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Mount Meigs (Ala.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Alabama (as recorded)