Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Dr E. Donnall "Don" Thomas
Birth: Mar. 5, 1920
McLennan County
Texas, USA
Death: Oct. 20, 2012
King County
Washington, USA

Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine. An oncologist, he was honored in 1990 for his development of bone marrow transplantation, a procedure that has saved the lives of countless leukemia patients. The child of a rural Texas physician, he attended a small high school, studied chemistry at the University of Texas where he received his undergraduate degree in 1941 and his master's in 1943, and earned his M.D. from Harvard in 1946. Following two years service in the US Army at Fort Lewis, Washington, Dr. Thomas persued graduate study at M.I.T. and completed his residency training at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. In 1955 he became chief of medicine at the Mary Imogene Basset Hospital of Cooperstown, New York, and while there did bone marrow transplant research in dogs with his wife Dottie serving as his principal assistant as she did throught his professional lifetime. Though he performed the first human transplant in 1956 success in the early days was limited by the necessity for an identical twin donor. The doctor moved to the University of Washington in 1963 and continued his work, in the process perfecting tissue typing which exponentially expanded the donor pool. In 1974 he became the founding director of clinical research at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and while acceptance of bone marrow transplantation was gradual he was to see it become the standard of care, though rejection via graft-versus-host disease remained a problem limiting the technique to the treatment of fatal conditions. In 1990 his work earned him the Nobel Prize which he shared with Joseph Murray who pioneered renal transplantation in 1954 as well as the National Medal of Science and though he reached age mandated retirement that same year he was to continue his work at the Fred Hutchinson Center thru 2002. The president of the American Society of Hematology for 1988, he was one of the authors of "Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation", the standard text in his field. Dr. Thomas died following a protracted illness; at his demise bone marrow transplantation was used to treat not only several forms of leukemia but aplastic anemia, Hodgkin's Disease, neuroblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, amyloidosis, multiple myeloma, and other serious illnesses. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
Body donated to medical science
Specifically: Universtiy of Texas
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Oct 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99293283
Dr E. Donnall Don Thomas
Added by: Bob Hufford
Dr E. Donnall Don Thomas
Added by: Bob Hufford
Dr E. Donnall Don Thomas
Added by: Bob Hufford
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Angel of Flowers
 Added: Mar. 17, 2016

- Bob Hufford, PA-C
 Added: Mar. 5, 2015

- James Snow
 Added: Oct. 20, 2014
There are 23 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.0 after 28 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service