Jane (Wright) Jones

Jane Cooke (Wright) Jones (1919 - 2013)

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Jane Cooke Jones formerly Wright
Born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of
Wife of — married in New York, United Statesmap
[children unknown]
Died in Guttenberg, Hudson, New Jersey, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Oct 2018
This page has been accessed 15 times.



Jane Cooke Wright [1](also known as "Jane Jones" or "Mr. David Jones") (November 30, 1919 – February 19, 2013) was a pioneering cancer researcher and surgeon noted for her contributions to chemotherapy. In particular, Wright is credited with developing the technique of using human tissue culture rather than laboratory mice to test the effects of potential drugs on cancer cells. She also pioneered the use of the drug methotrexate to treat breast cancer and skin cancer (mycosis fungoids).


  • Smith College
  • New York Medical College

Known for

Development of chemotherapies; Co-founder of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Scientific career

  • Fields


  • Institutions

Harlem Hospital Cancer Research Center

New York University

New York Medical College

Early life and education

Wright was born in Manhattan to Corinne Cooke, a public school teacher, and Louis T. Wright, a graduate of Meharry Medical College and one of the first African American graduates from Harvard Medical School. [2] Her father, Louis Tompkins Wright, was from a medical family. He was the child of Dr. Ceah Ketcham Wright, a physician graduated from Bencake Medical College, and stepson of William Fletcher Penn, the first African-American graduate of Yale Medical College.[3] Wright's uncle, Harold Dadford West, was also a physician, ultimately president of Meharry Medical College.[4] Wright's father continuously fought against racial injustice and declared the American Medical Association responsible for the existing racial discrimination in the medical field. He publicly stated, "the American Medical Association has demonstrated as much interest in the health of the Negro as Hitler has in the health of the Jew."[5] In becoming physicians, Jane Wright and her sister Barbara Wright Pierce both followed in their father's and grandfathers' footsteps, overcoming both gender and racial bias succeed in a largely white male profession.[6]

Jane’s family had a strong history of academic achievement in medicine. The first medical member of the Wright family was Dr. Ceah Ketcham Wright. Ceah was first born into slavery, and after the Civil War, Ceah earned his medical degree at Meharry Medical College. Jane’s step father, Dr. William Fletcher Penn was the first African American to graduate form Yale Medical College. Lastly, Jane’s father, Dr. Louis T. Wright, who she took her greatest inspiration from, was among the first black students to earn an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, an the first African American doctor at a public hospital in New York City. After his 30 years working at the Harlem Hospital, he went on setting up and directing Cancer Research Foundation. [7]

Jane attended Smith College, originally wanting to pursue a degree in art, however her father suggested to change her studies to pre-medical studies. After her studies at Smith college, Jane earned a full scholarship to study medicine at New York Medical College. She graduated as a part of an accelerated three year program at the top of her class in 1945 with the honors award. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Wright earned an internship at Bellevue Hospital during 1945 and 1946. In 1947, she married David D. Jones, Jr, an attorney In 1949, she completed her surgical residency at Harlem Hospital in 1948, where her father was.[8]

Personal Biography

On July 27, 1947, Wright married David D. Jones and the couple had two daughters: Jane Wright Jones and Alison Jones. Her husband was an attorney and became founder of anti-poverty and job training organizations for young African Americans. Unfortunately, in 1976, Mr. Jones died of heart failure. In addition to her love of the sciences, Jane was fond of watercolor painting, reading mystery novels, swimming, and sailing. Upon receiving the Merit Award from Mademoiselle in 1952, she stated, "My plans for the future are to continue seeking a cure for cancer, to be a good mother to my children, and a good wife to my husband."[9]


  1. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_C._Wright
  2. Bruce Weber, "Jane Wright, Oncology Pioneer, Dies at 93", The New York Times (obituary), March 2, 2013.
  3. Jane Cooke Wright", Encyclopedia of World Biography (2008)
  4. Wini Warren, "Jane Cooke Wright", Black Women Scientists in the United States (Indiana University Press, 2000), p.40.
  5. Chung, King-Thom (1943). Women Pioneers of Medical Research. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 157. ISBN 9780786429271.
  6. "Jane Cooke Wright", Encyclopedia of World Biography (2008)
  7. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_C._Wright
  8. Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_C._Wright
  9. Chung, King-Thom (1943). Women Pioneers of Medical Research. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 157. ISBN 9780786429271.
  • Residence

"United States National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel Files, 1954-1970," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KLWM-GBP : 7 July 2017), Jane Cooke Wright, New York, United States, Aug 1954; citing 1954 National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel, 622629, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

"United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJLG-ZR7D : 16 May 2014), Jane C Wright, Residence, Guttenberg, New Jersey, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.

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Dr. Jane Jones
Dr. Jane Jones


Jane is 27 degrees from Rosa Parks, 35 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 31 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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