Research & Education

Jesse Leonard Steinfeld, MD

August 12, 2014

Murry W. Wynes, PhD
IASLC Special Projects Manager
(720) 325-2945

Jesse L. SteinfeldThe International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer mourns the loss of Jesse L. Steinfeld, MD, the 11th Surgeon General of the United States (1969-1973), who passed away on August 5, 2014 in Pomona, CA at the age of 87. Dr. Steinfeld was the first recipient of the Joseph W. Cullen Prevention and Early Detection Award from IASLC in 1994 at the 7th World Conference on Lung Cancer held in Colorado Springs, CO. The Joseph W. Cullen Prevention/Early Detection Award is given to an IASLC scientist for lifetime scientific achievements in prevention research of thoracic malignancies.

Dr. Steinfeld was a champion against tobacco smoking and brought to the forefront the risks of secondhand smoke as well as helping lead a charge to reduce the number of female smokers. In 1964, 5 years before his tenure as Surgeon General, the landmark publication Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee of the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service was published. That report is considered a major turning point for the public perception about smoking and reducing the effect of tobacco smoking on health globally. One year later, in 1965, cigarette packs began carrying the advisory labels, "cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health" but then in 1970, under the leadership of Dr. Steinfeld, the warning labels displayed a stronger message, "The surgeon general has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health".

Before becoming Surgeon General Dr. Steinfeld was at the University of California, San Francisco, National Cancer Institute, George Washington University, and University of Southern California. Following his tenure as Surgeon General to he went on to become the director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the Mayo Medical School, professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine and chief of medicine at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Long Beach, dean and professor of medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, and president of the Medical College of Georgia.


About the IASLC:
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 3,800 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries.
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