John Templeton Bowen 1857–1940
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Bowen was born on July 8, 1857, the son in a prominent Boston family. He attended Boston Latin School, graduated from Harvard College in 1879, and from Harvard Medical School in 1884. For most of the ensuing three years he studied in Berlin, Munich, and Vienna. He must have developed an interest in dermatologic problems during this time, because in 1889 he was appointed assistant physician to outpatients with diseases of the skin at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1907 he became the first Edward Wigglesworth Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, prior to which he was elected President of the American Dermatologic Association.
Bowen is best remembered for his description of precancerous dermatoses, the subject of thisClassics presentation. It has been slightly abridged for the pages of this journal.
It was said that Bowen loved quiet and solitude; that he perhaps loved his microscope best, more than his patients, according to some. He never married, and in later years became quite reclusive. He died December 3, 1940, in his eighty-fourth year.
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