James Edward Moore was born on March 2, 1852 in Clarksville, Pennsylvania. He earned his Doctor of Medicine Degree from New York's Bellevue Medical College at the age of 21. He worked as a general practitioner in Pennsylvania for six years and came to Minnesota in 1882. After two years of practice, he went to Europe to continue his studies in Berlin, Paris and London. Upon his return to Minnesota, Dr. Moore was the first specialist in general and orthopedic surgery west of New York.
Dr. Moore joined the University of Minnesota staff in 1888 as professor of orthopedic surgery, after the Minneapolis College Hospital was absorbed into the U of M medical school. He became professor of orthopedics and adjunct professor of clinical surgery in 1894 and professor of orthopedics and clinical surgery in 1896. He resigned the chair of orthopedics in 1897, was appointed to the chair of surgery in 1904, and became professor and the first director of the Department of Surgery in 1908, a position that he held until his death on November 2, 1918.
Dr. Moore was involved in many professional associations and societies, including being the first vice-president of the American Surgical Association (1905), president of the Western Surgical Association (1902), president of the Minnesota Academy of Science, member of the American Medical Association, president of the Hennepin County Medical Society and delegate from the University of Minnesota to the International Medical Conference in Rome, Italy. During the many years of his medical career, Dr. Moore was known not only as a brilliant surgeon but as a tireless, skillful and sympathetic educator. Dr. Arthur Ayer Law, one of his many devoted students, says of him: “As a teacher, surgeon, and friend he was a constant inspiration, his life a model which helped to shape the destinies of his students and inspire the emulation of his fellows.”
From the guide to the James Edward Moore papers, 1882-1930, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc])