Mills, James Theodore (1901–1974)

By: Patricia L. Jakobi

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Updated: August 1, 2014

James Theodore Mills, plastic surgeon, was born in 1901 in Austin, Minnesota. He received his M.D. in 1924 from the University of Minnesota Medical School and interned for a year at the Washington Boulevard Hospital in Chicago. In 1925 he began seven years of training in Grand Rapids, Michigan, under Dr. Ferris Smith, a renowned plastic surgeon. Mills moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1932. He became chief of the newly organized Baylor Hospital department of plastic surgery in 1937 and retained that position until 1965. During World War II Mills was among the physicians responsible for the organization of one of the largest plastic surgery units in the United States Navy, an effort for which he received the Navy Commendation Medal for meritorious wartime service. In 1963 he was appointed clinical professor and chairman of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, a position he held until his retirement in 1973. He also served as the chief technical adviser on disabled children for the Texas Department of Health. In the late 1940s Mills was elected president of the two largest organizations in his specialty, the American Association of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. He was also a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which he served as chairman in 1954–55, the Dallas County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. Mills died in a Dallas hospital on January 14, 1974, and was survived by his wife, Rosemary (Zonne), one son, and three daughters.

Dallas Morning News, January 16, 1974. Texas Medicine, July 1974.

  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

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

Patricia L. Jakobi, “Mills, James Theodore,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995
August 1, 2014

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