Mason Andrews Biography


Birthday: April 19, 1919 (Aries)

Born In: Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Mason Andrews was an American physician and politician best known to execute America’s first test-tube baby birth. Mason was interested in following his family profession in the medical and following his high school graduation, he graduated from Princeton University in Chemistry. He later attended John Hopkins University and graduated with an MD degree. After starting private practice at the age of 30, he became a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at John Hopkins University. His part in the development of the medical and general infrastructure in the city of Norfolk is also recognized. He played a big role in the creation of Eastern Virginia Medical School. It was the same school that is credited with executing USA’s first test-tube baby birth, also known as in vitro delivery. Elizabeth Carr was born in 1981 through the technique which was very rare around the world at that time. Mason ensured a successful execution of the process got recognized as a pioneer in the field. He also served as the mayor of Norfolk from 1992 to 1994. He passed away in 2006 through pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 87.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Mason Cooke Andrews

Died At Age: 87


Spouse/Ex-: Sabine Alston Goodman Andrews

children: Jean, Mason

Born Country: United States

American Men Princeton University

Died on: October 13, 2006

place of death: Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Cause of Death: Pulmonary Fibrosis

U.S. State: Virginia

City: Norfolk, Virginia

More Facts

education: Maury High School, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University

Education & Early Career

Mason Andrews was born Mason Cooke Andrews, on April 19, 1919, in Norfolk, Virginia. Not much information is available about his parents or early life. However, it is known that he came from a family of doctors.

He graduated from Maury High School. Following his interest in the field of science, he enrolled at Princeton University, from where he graduated with a degree in chemistry. Following his bachelor’s education, he enrolled at the John Hopkins University to study obstetrics and gynecology.

When he turned 30, he became a faculty member at the John Hopkins University and began teaching obstetrics and gynecology there.

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In the early 1950s, Mason began engaging in community services. He provided his suggestions and services to the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce along with the Health Welfare and Recreation Planning Council.

He also served in the Norfolk County Medical Society as its president. His biggest achievement in the position was establishing a bipartisan committee which researched the requirement of a medical school in the surrounding area. Thus, the committee assigned by him managed to convince the Virginia General Assembly that there was in fact a need for a medical school in the area.

His constant efforts resulted in the plan for the medical school being laid out in Eastern Virginia. Eastern Virginia Medical Center Authority was formed keeping the development of the medical school in mind. Since Mason was one of the instrumental forces behind the plan, he was made the chairman of the authority when it was established in 1964. He stayed in the position for a few more years.

The fundraising for the school began in 1970 through fundraisers and in a short period of time, an amount of $17 million was gathered with donors from the community and major business leaders. The school began functioning in 1973 in that year, it accepted its first class. Currently, about 5000 students from across the country send in applications for the 150 seats in the school.

Mason also oversaw the construction of a medical centre complex which was built over a slum. Since then, the complex has the school campus, Norfolk General Hospital, a Medical Tower, Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters,  the Norfolk Public Health Department, and the Tidewater Rehabilitation Institute.

Mason serves as the chairman of the gynecology and obstetrics departments of the medical school. He also played a major role in esteemed fertility doctors such as Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones to the school. This one decision became the decisive factor in the first American test-tube baby birth which made the school popular in the world.

In 1974, Mason was also made a member of the city council of Norfolk, a position he held until 2000. He played a major role in the downtown waterfront redevelopment. He was also credited for the opening of the waterside, along with Nauticus and Town Point Park on the waterfront. He is also considered to be responsible for bringing the interest towards a risky project called MacArthur Central Mall which was built for $300 dollars. However, the mall has been a major success as it has brought the city millions of dollars in revenue since its opening.

He had put so much effort into the development of the city that he is considered to be an architect of the downtown. He wanted the Waterfront to become the centre of the local life Downtown and his dream was realized.

He was also appointed the Mayor of Norfolk, a position he held from 1992 to 1994.

Birth of Elizabeth Carr

As a gynecologist, Andrews had attended the birth of almost 5000 children while working in Norfolk. The school had been running for less than a decade when Elizabeth Carr was born at the Eastern Virginia Medical School

Roger and Judith Carr came to the hospital in 1981 when Judith was pregnant with a child. However, she had a history of miscarriages owing to issues with fallopian tubes. Doctors had to remove the fallopian tubes first to ensure safe delivery.

The team of Doctor Georgeanna Jones and Howard Jones used the in-Vetro fertilization method for the first time and directed the team of doctors that conducted the technique. On December 28, 1981, at 7:46 AM in the morning, Elizabeth Jordan Carr was born and was delivered by Mason. After Louise Brown was born in the UK in 1978 through the same method, Elizabeth was only the 15th child in the world to be born that way and the first in the USA.

Andrews attained celebrity status in the country following that. He was praised for his attempts as the birth of Elizabeth paved the way for thousands of couples to become parents when they were unable to do so naturally. Since the birth of Elizabeth, about 330,000 babies have been born in the US through in vitro fertilization.

Personal Life & Death

Mason Andrews married Sabine Goodman in 1949. The couple remained married for 57 years and had two daughters, named Jean and Mason.

Mason kept in touch with Elizabeth Carr, the first American child born through a test tube. They maintained friendly family relations until his death. Elizabeth’s family nicknamed Mason, Mace the Ace. Mason sent cards to her on holiday and also sent a gift for her wedding.

Mason passed away on October 13, 2006, of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 87 years old at the time of his demise.

See the events in life of Mason Andrews in Chronological Order

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