Lewis Thomas (1913–1993)

American physician, science writer, and teacher. Educated at Princeton University and Harvard Medical School, Thomas specialized in pediatrics, public health, and cancer research. From 1973 to 1980 he served as president of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In 1970 Thomas began writing occasional essays for the New England Journal of Medicine. A number of these were gathered in The Lives of a Cell (1974), a National Book Award winner that established Thomas’s reputation as a science writer. Other collections include The Medusa and the Snail (1979), Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (1983), Et Cetera, Et Cetera: Notes of a Word Watcher (1991), and The Fragile Species (1992). Thomas’s autobiography, The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine-Watcher (1983), traces the history of modern medicine, much of which developed during the course of his lifetime. See also vcu.edu.