Thomas, Lewis,1913–93, American physician and biologist, b. Flushing, New York. In his youth he often accompanied his physician father on his rounds and decided early on to be a doctor or a writer. He graduated from Princeton, and obtained his medical degree from Harvard in 1937. He held various professorships and research posts and was dean of the medical schools of New York Univ. (1966–69) and Yale (1972–73). He served as president (1973–80) then chancellor (1980–83) and president emeritus (from 1983) of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is mostly widely known, however, for his lucid essays that combine his fascination for the living world with his thoughts on biology and philosophy. His collections of his essays include The Lives of a Cell (1974), The Medusa and the Snail (1979), and Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony (1983).
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Thomas, Lewis(1913–93) physician, author, educator; born in Flushing, N.Y. A surgeon's son, he graduated from Princeton (1933) and Harvard Medical School (1937) and taught medicine at Johns Hopkins, Tulane, the University of Minnesota, New York University, and Yale before becoming a professor of medicine at the Medical School of Cornell in New York City in 1973. He served as chief executive officer of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, from 1973–80 and was a member of many public and private advisory agencies. A best-selling author, he discussed the place of humans in the biological world in such books as The Lives of a Cell (1974), Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony (1983), and The Fragile Species (1992). The Lives of a Cell won a National Book Award in 1975.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.