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Jackson, Dudley, Sr. (1890–1959)

Patricia L. Jakobi Biography Entry

Dudley Jackson, Sr., cancer researcher and oncologist, was born in Eddy, Texas, on August 26, 1890, the son of Charles S. and Sallie (Wright) Jackson. He received his early education in Brownwood public schools and attended Daniel Baker College before graduating from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1917. Jackson served an internship as a first lieutenant in the United States Army and was stationed both in the United States and overseas. After his discharge in 1919 he opened a medical practice in San Antonio, specializing in cancer, and remained there until his death. With the help of legislation introduced by his cousin, Representative  Maury Maverick, Sr., Jackson was instrumental in founding the National Institute of Cancer. He also promoted state legislation that established a state cancer institute and led to the development of the M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston (now the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center). Jackson was a member of the Bexar County Medical Society, of which he was president in 1932. He was also a member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Surgical Society, Southern Medical Association, and American Academy-International of Medicine. He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and International College of Surgeons. In 1954 he received the medal of the American Cancer Society and a certificate of merit from the society's Texas division. He was also the holder of a Walter Reed Society award for experiments in cancer, in which he transplanted living cancer cells into his own body in order to disprove the theory that cancer is contagious. Noted for his willingness to treat cancer patients regardless of their race or their ability to pay, Jackson helped organize the Pan American Cancer Foundation, a group dedicated to the care of cancer patients in the southwestern United States and Mexico who could not afford treatment. Jackson married Dr. Martha Nell Beal of Bertram on October 5, 1919, in Beaumont. They had two children. He died of acute coronary occlusion on July 25, 1959.

The First Twenty Years of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute (Houston: M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, 1964). San Antonio Express, November 12, 1989. Texas State Journal of Medicine, September 1959.


  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Oncologists
  • Science
  • Scientists and Researchers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Patricia L. Jakobi, “Jackson, Dudley, Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: