Sir Geoffrey Jefferson

1953, New Orleans

Sir Geoffrey Jefferson was born April 10, 1886. His father was a general practitioner and surgeon. Jefferson studied medicine at the University of Manchester and graduated with honors. He received his house officer training in Manchester and in London. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and was assigned in 1915 to the Anglo-Russian Hospital in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was there at the time of the Revolution. He then was transferred to the 14th General Hospital in France.

After World War I, Jefferson visited Harvey Cushing in Boston. He became the first neurosurgeon at the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1926 but had only four beds at his disposal. He received an invitation in 1933 to join the staff of the National Hospital in Queens Square and visited London every two weeks to consult and to operate. Manchester University created the first chairmanship of neurological surgery in 1939 and named Sir Geoffrey Jefferson as the first professor. He was primarily responsible for the founding of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons.

Jefferson treated many of the British neurosurgical casualties in World War II and he was honored by appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1943. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1947 and was knighted in 1950.

Sir Geoffrey Jefferson made major contributions to the treatment of head and spinal injuries. He also had a particular interest in pituitary adenomas and saccular aneurysms.

Sir Geoffrey Jefferson was the second honored guest of the Congress in 1953 in New Orleans and became president of the first International Congress of Neurological Surgeons in Brussels in 1957. Sir Geoffrey's papers for the Congress meeting concerned changing views on the integration of the brain, trigeminal neuromas, and compression of the optic pathways by intracranial aneurysms.

Jefferson married Gertrude Flumerfelt of Victoria, British Columbia in 1914. The Jeffersons had 3 children, Dr. Michael Jefferson, Mr. Anthony Jefferson, and Lady Monical Bruce Gardner. Sir Geoffrey Jefferson died on January 20, 1961 at the age of 74.