Georgeanna Seegar Jones

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Georgeanna Seegar Jones (July 6, 1912 – March 26, 2005) was an American physician who with her husband, Howard W. Jones, pioneered in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the United States.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born July 6, 1912 in Baltimore, Maryland to J. King Seegar and she had two siblings: King Seegar and Elizabeth Seegar. She obtained her B.A. from Goucher College and later her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1936.[1]


As a resident at Johns Hopkins, she discovered that the pregnancy hormone hCG was manufactured by the placenta, not the pituitary gland as originally thought. This discovery led to the development of many of the early over-the-counter pregnancy test kits currently available. Jones is also credited with using progesterone to treat women with a history of miscarriages, thus allowing many of them to not only conceive, but to deliver healthy babies.

She became the director of Johns Hopkins' Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology and was the Gynecologist-in-Charge of the hospital's gynecologic endocrinology clinic in 1939.

Personal life[edit]

She married Howard W. Jones while at Johns Hopkins and they had the following children: Howard Wilbur Jones III, Lawrence Massey Jones and Georgeanna Jones Klingensmith. In 1978 she and her husband left Hopkins for Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). This was after the birth of the first test tube baby in the world, Louise Joy Brown, on July 25, 1978 in England.[1] The Joneses created their own IVF program at EVMS. On December 28, 1981 their procedure gave birth to Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test tube baby.


Jones died on March 26, 2005 in Portsmouth, Virginia.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Anahad O'Connor (March 28, 2005). "Georgeanna S. Jones, In Vitro Conception Pioneer, Dies at 92". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-22. Dr. Georgeanna S. Jones, who was half of a husband-and-wife team that created the first program for in vitro fertilization in the United States and its first "test tube" baby, died on Saturday at a hospital in Norfolk, Va. She was 92 and lived in Portsmouth, Va. 

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