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January 7, 1961

Walter Stanborough Sutton

JAMA. 1961;175(1):66. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040010068022

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To the Editor:—  In the editorial entitled Triple X-Sex in The Journal, Sept. 10, page 176, you correctly credit Sutton (1903) with first developing, and assembling evidence in support of, the chromosomal theory of Mendelian inheritance. You failed to mention (it is not generally known) that Sutton was studying medicine at the time he did this important work and that he was subsequently a prominent surgeon.Walter Stanborough Sutton (1877-1916) began his cytologic work on the mechanics of spermatogenesis in the lubber grasshopper at Kansas University while he was a "premed" student. He continued the studies under Professor E. B. Wilson when he transferred to Columbia. He completed the equivalent of the first two years of medical school in 1903, the year his monumental paper The Chromosomes in Heredity was published.Sutton spent the period 1903 to 1905 as a foreman in the oil fields of Chautauqua County, Kansas, to

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