Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 982–988 | Cite as

John Templeton Bowen 1857–1940

  • John T. Bowen
Classic Articles in Colonic and Rectal Surgery


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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  1. Biography-Parish LC. John Templeton Bowen (Biographica Dematologica). Cutis 1970;6:1165, 1173.Google Scholar
  2. White CJ. Obituary: John Templeton Bowen. Arch Dermatol Syphilol 1941;43:386–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. Bowen
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston

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