Image of J. Morris Slemons


Lifetime: 1879 - 1948 Passed: ≈ 76 years ago




United States

J. Morris Slemons

Josiah Morris Slemons was an American physician who researched and wrote on issues of pregnancy and prenatal nutrition.

Josiah Morris Slemons was born in Salisbury, Maryland on November 9, 1879. He was the son of Francis Marion, M.D., and Martha Ann (Morris) Slemons. On August 2, 1904, Slemons married Anne M. Goodwill of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He died in 1948 in Los Angeles, California.

Slemons received an A.B. from Johns Hopkins University in 1887 and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1901. Slemons remained at Johns Hopkins for his internship and residency, as well as beginning his medical career as an instructor and then an assistant professor. In 1907, he carried out graduate work in Berlin, Germany. From 1913-1915, Slemons was the gynecologist-in-chief and director of the Woman's Clinic at the University of California. In 1914, Slemons was asked to form the Department of Obstetrics at Yale School of Medicine; the first clinical department at Yale to hire full-time faculty members. He remained at Yale for six years before returning to the University of California.

Slemons conducted research and published in the area of pregnancy and prenatal health. His most widely-known work, "The Prospective Mother; A Handbook for Women During Pregnancy" was written for women with no medical knowledge, designed to answer common questions and provide practical health information. In addition, he published a number of research papers on the biochemistry of the fetal circulatory system and the placenta.

At the end of World War I, Slemons and his wife traveled to France with the American Red Cross as part of a team of specialists. Their purpose was to provide education on prenatal hygiene and fetal nutrition in an effort to increase the birth rate, which had dropped precipitously during the war.

Books by J. Morris Slemons

The Prospective Mother  Cover image

The Prospective Mother

Non-Fiction Science
Health Education Aims Medical Fitness

This book, written for women who have no special knowledge of medicine, aims to answer the questions which occur to them in the course of pregnancy.