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Bayne-Jones, Stanhopelocked

(06 November 1888–20 February 1970)
  • Mary C. Gillett

Bayne-Jones, Stanhope (06 November 1888–20 February 1970), physician and bacteriologist, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Samuel Stanhope Davis Jones, a physician, and Amelia Elizabeth Bayne. His childhood was a tumultuous one, largely as a result of the struggles for his custody that followed the death of his mother in 1893 and the subsequent financial ruin and suicide of his father in 1894. Apparently at the instigation of his maternal relatives, in 1902 his last name was changed to Bayne-Jones.

In 1910 Bayne-Jones received an A.B. from Yale University and entered the Tulane Medical School. After spending most of the summer of 1911 studying at the Rush Medical School, he entered the second year of the Johns Hopkins Medical School, where he stood first in his class when he received an M.D. in 1914. He remained at Johns Hopkins to study pathology and to serve as assistant resident pathologist and in 1915 joined the Army Medical Reserve Corps as a first lieutenant. After six months of graduate work in bacteriology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, he became director of a new laboratory concentrating on bacteriology and immunology at Hopkins.

In April 1917, after the United States entered World War I, Bayne-Jones was promoted to captain in the Army Medical Reserve Corps. He volunteered to join members of the staff of Cleveland’s Lakeside Hospital in providing medical assistance to British military forces in Europe. In this capacity, he saw action at the front, service for which the British later awarded him the Military Cross. After U.S. troops began to take an active part in the conflict, he was ordered to join them and again served at the front. Not long after Armistice Day on 11 November 1918, he was promoted to major. From January 1919 until his discharge from the army the following May he served with the U.S. Army of Occupation in Germany.

In June 1919 Bayne-Jones received a one-year appointment as associate in bacteriology at Johns Hopkins and the following June was promoted to associate professor. In 1921 he married Nannie Moore Smith; the marriage was childless. In 1922 he accepted an offer to serve as head of the Department of Bacteriology at the newly created medical school at the University of Rochester in New York, where he became responsible not only for teaching but also for handling diagnoses for the city’s health department and for its two hospitals. While at Rochester he served as president of the Society of American Bacteriologists and of the New York State Association of Public Health Laboratories.

In June 1931 Bayne-Jones left Rochester to accept an appointment to serve as a residential master of one of the newly formed residential colleges at Yale University and as professor of bacteriology. In 1935 he began a five-year term as dean of the Yale School of Medicine, where he launched a health plan for medical students that proved to be the forerunner of health insurance that became common fifty years later. In 1939 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Medical Corps Reserve. A year later, when the secretary of war authorized the formation of the civilian-manned Army Epidemiological Board, he became the head of its Commission on Epidemiological Survey, whose principal mission was to identify potential epidemics in the hope of preventing their actual occurrence. Late the same year he also became a member of a secret organization of civilians studying the feasibility of biological warfare with the goal of preparing defenses against it.

In fall 1941 Bayne-Jones was called to active duty. From this point onward until the end of World War II he was located mainly in Washington, D.C., and involved principally with the administrative aspects of the army’s preventive medicine service. Increasingly concerned about the possibility of a major outbreak of typhus among the civilians most severely affected by the conflict, he pushed for the formation of the United States of America Typhus Commission; as its head, he organized the campaign that successfully headed off an epidemic. In 1944, at the height of this effort, he was promoted to brigadier general. He received many honors both from the American and the British military.

Bayne-Jones returned to his work at Yale in 1946. A year later he was appointed president of the board of New York Hospital–Cornell Medical College Association. In 1953 he returned to Washington, D.C., to serve as technical director of research and development for the army’s surgeon general, a position from which he resigned in 1956. In 1957 he became head of an advisory group formed to create guidelines for the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. His work in this capacity included participation in the drive to create the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1958, when he was named to the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board, he again become involved in research concerning biological warfare and the development of vaccines against diseases that could be used as weapons, a role he continued in until 1965.

In 1959 Bayne-Jones briefly served as a member of the National Advisory Cancer Council, created to assist the Public Health Service in decisions concerning research and research grants. In 1962 he became a member of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Public Health, whose studies led to the conclusion in 1964 that smoking was directly related to cancer. In the final years of his life, he devoted much of his time to research and writing, and particularly to the official Medical Department histories of its activities in World War II. In 1966 he also began taping an oral history of his life, which he completed not long before his death in Washington, D.C.

As a teacher and as an expert in the field of preventive medicine, Bayne-Jones was involved with a myriad of organizations concerned with various aspects of preventive medicine and earned the respect of some of the most distinguished scientists of his time. His most significant contributions to medical science, however, were those he made as a teacher and as a leader skilled in coordinating the efforts of others, many with difficult temperaments, toward reaching a common goal.


The bulk of Bayne-Jones personal papers are held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md. His many publications include such books as Man and Microbes (1932) and The Evolution of Preventive Medicine in the United States Army, 1607–1939 (1968). He coauthored with Hans Zinsser the 7th ed. (1934) and 8th ed. (1939) of A Textbook of Bacteriology, a standard work on the subject. Representative of the many articles he contributed to books and journals are “Board for the Investigation and Control of Influenza and Other Epidemic Diseases in the Army,” Army Medical Bulletin 64 (Oct. 1941): 1–22; “Reciprocal Effects of the Relationship of Bacteriology and Medicine,” Journal of Bacteriology 21 (1931): 61–73; “A Teacher by Preference,” Science 143 (1964): 347; and two articles in the nine-volume work, Preventive Medicine in World War II, ed. Ebbe Curtis Hoff, “Typhus Fever,” in Communicable Diseases, vol. 7 (1964), and “Enemy Prisoners of War,” in Special Fields, vol. 9 (1968). Albert E. Cowdrey’s War and Healing: Stanhope Bayne-Jones and the Maturing of American Medicine (1992) is a full-length biography. An obituary is in the Washington Post, 21 Feb. 1970.