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January 5, 1963


JAMA. 1963;183(1):56-57. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700010096019

A profound influence upon education and legislation in England in the areas usually identified as intimate to preventive medicine has been attributed to the first Medical Officer of Health of the City of London, John Simon. A native son and physician of London, he displayed little evidence of an interest in public health until mid-maturity, a decade after accepting an appointment as Demonstrator of Anatomy at King's College. John, christened at St. Olave's Church where Pepys worshipped, prepared for higher education at Dr. Burney's school in Greenwich and subsequently spent a year studying in Prussia. Upon his return to London in 1833, he was apprenticed for six years, for the "usual fee of 500 guineas," to Joseph Henry Green, surgeon to St. Thomas' Hospital and professor of surgery in the Royal College of Surgeons and at King's College. At the age of 24, having achieved membership in the Royal College,