American Society of Hematology

Leon Jacobson (1911 - 1992)

Leon Jacobson was a leader in the study and clinical use of radiation to treat blood diseases. During his career, he worked to develop the first forms of chemotheraphy. Dr. Jacobson was also the primary physician for the research team that created the atomic bomb.

Dr. Jacobson first began his career as a school teacher in a one-room school in Sims, ND. As a teacher, he became interested in the various epidemics affecting his students and even worked with doctors in Bismarck, ND, to help one of his students with epilepsy, thus beginning his interest in medicine. Dr. Jacobson received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1939.

In 1942, he was selected to join the staff of the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago because of his research on the biological effects of radiation. Dr. Jacobson spent his entire professional career at the University of Chicago where he served as director of the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital and dean of biological sciences in the medical school.

Oral History

Learn more about Dr. Jacobson by reading his oral history transcript.

Authored Blood Articles

Dr. Jacobson published several articles in the Society's journal Blood.


An obituary on Dr. Jacobson was published in The New York Times on September 22, 1992.

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