George Huntington

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George Huntington

George Huntington (April 9, 1850 – March 3, 1916) was an American physician who contributed a classic clinical description of the disease that bears his name – Huntington's disease.[1]

George Huntington's paper

Huntington described this condition in the first of only two scientific papers he ever wrote. He wrote this paper when he was 22, a year after receiving his medical degree from Columbia University in New York. He first read the paper before the Meigs and Mason Academy of Medicine in Middleport, Ohio on February 15, 1872 and then published it in the Medical and Surgical Reporter of Philadelphia on April 13, 1872.[2][3]

Huntington's father and grandfather, George Lee Huntington (1811–1881) and Abel Huntington (1778–1858), were also physicians in the same family practice. Their longitudinal observations combined with his own were invaluable in precisely describing this hereditary disease in multiple generations of a family in East Hampton on Long Island.

In a 1908 review, the eminent physician William Osler said of this paper: "In the history of medicine, there are few instances in which a disease has been more accurately, more graphically or more briefly described."

In 1874 George Huntington returned to Dutchess County, New York to practice medicine. He joined a number of medical associations[4] and started working for the Matteawan General Hospital. In 1908 the scientific journal Neurograph dedicated him a special edition.[5]

George Huntington should not be confused with George Sumner Huntington (1861–1927), the anatomist (both men attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University).[6]


  1. ^ Owecki, M.K.; Magowska, A. (2019). "George Huntington (1850–1916)". Journal of Neurology. 266 (3): 793–795. doi:10.1007/s00415-018-8860-5.
  2. ^ Huntington, G. (1872). "On Chorea". Medical and Surgical Reporter of Philadelphia. 26 (15): 317–321.
  3. ^ Lanska DJ (2000). "George Huntington (1850–1916) and hereditary chorea". Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 9 (1): 76–89. doi:10.1076/0964-704X(200004)9:1;1-2;FT076. PMID 11232352.
  4. ^ These medical societies included:
    • Dutchess County Medical Society (President in 1888);
    • Medical Society of the State of New York;
    • Brooklyn Society for Neurology;
    • Buncombe Medical Society of North Carolina;
    • Tristate Medical Association; and the
    • Medical Association of the State of New York.
  5. ^ John P. Conomy. "Dr. George Huntington and the Disease Bearing His Name". Huntington's Disease Society of America - Northeast Ohio Chapter. Archived from the original on 2006-07-18.
  6. ^ van der Weiden RM (1989). "George Huntington and George Sumner Huntington. A tale of two doctors". Hist Philos Life Sci. 11 (2): 297–304. PMID 2534642.

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