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This article was published in The American Surgeon Volume 80, Issue 6, June 2014, Pages e162-164.

The published version is available at PMID: 24887779. Copyright © Ingenta


Francis F. Maury (Fig. 1) was born on August 9, 1840, in Danville, Kentucky, where he was raised on a farm by his mother and father. His father was an Episcopal clergyman of Huguenot descent, whose forefathers had fled from France to escape religious persecution. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Center College in the summer of 1860, he entered medical school at the University of Virginia. After one full term, he matriculated to Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College and completed his medical education as a private student under the direction of Dr. Samuel D. Gross.1, 2 He obtained his Doctorate of Medicine in March of 1862 at the age of only 21 years. Such were his talents as a medical student that he was appointed resident physician at the Philadelphia Hospital one month before his graduation. Although he spent only one year there, he developed a reputation as a tireless, devoted, and charming surgeon. In April 1863, Maury was assigned to duty at the South Street General Hospital to serve as acting assistant surgeon in the U.S. Army for two years. In October 1863, he was appointed assistant professor to Dr. Gross and six months later became chief of Dr. Gross’ surgical clinic at Jefferson Medical College. In November 1865, at the age of only 25 years, he returned to the Philadelphia Hospital, where he was appointed one of the chief surgeons on the retirement of Dr. Gross from that institution. In April of 1866, Maury founded the Summer Course on Venereal and Cutaneous Diseases in the Jefferson Medical College, where he taught until his death.1 Although Maury did not consider himself a dermatologist, his expertise in this emerging field was widely recognized.