James Marion Sims


Doctor of Medicine

His accomplishments in medicine, notably the development of techniques in the field of gynecology, contributed to the advancement of medical science and the alleviation of human suffering.

James Marion Sims is recognized throughout the world as the founder of the field of gynecology. Dr. Sims' unparalleled successes placed him in demand as far afield as the royal houses of Europe. He counted among his patients Napoleon III's Empress Eugenie of France, Scotland's Duchess of Hamilton and the Empress of Austria.

Entering medicine when it was less a science than today, Sims early discovered the need for new techniques and thought unhampered by medical textbooks unchanged through a hundred years. Sims blazed a career of original operations and techniques seldom equaled in medical history. He established the first woman's hospital in history in Montgomery in 1845. Later, in New York, he established the Woman's Hospital, which became the forerunner and pattern for similar institutions around the world.

Dr. Sims practiced for several years in Paris and London and accepted invitations to perform his unique operations before leading surgeons in a number of other cities. Several European governments honored him with their highest awards. New York claims Sims as its own by virtue of his work and death there. South Carolina claims him by reason of his birth in Lancaster, S.C., but Alabama was the scene of Sims' early work and his initial successes that were to spring him into an honored spot in medical annals.

Elected 1953

Alabama Hall of Fame, 1968
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Updated; december 9, 2003