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Dr. Robert Spencer  Stone, M.D, L.L.D.  Dr. Robert Spencer Stone, M.D, L.L.D.[1, 2, 3, 4]
 1895 - 1966


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  • Title  Dr. 
    Suffix  M.D, L.L.D. 
    Birth  5 Jun 1895  Chatham, Kent County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Gender  Male 
    Award  He received the Gold Medal of the American College of Radiology 
    Award  He received the Gold Medal of the Radiological Society of North America 
    Award  He received the Janeway Medal of the American Radium Society 
    Military Service  1916  London, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Lieut, 111th Overseas Battalion, Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force 
    Degree  Between 1919 and 1928 
    He received his B.S., MA, M.B. and M.D. degrees from the University of Toronto 
    Occupation  1919-1921  Peking Union Medical School Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Assistant in anatomy 
    Award  22 Apr 1946 
    Medal of Merit award from President Truman 
    Degree  1956 
    He received an honorary L.L.D degree from the University of California 
    Award  24 Jul 1964 
    Gold Medal of Citation from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission 
    Died  18 Dec 1966  San Francisco, San Francisco, California Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 9, 10
    Person ID  I129  Main
    Last Modified  31 Mar 2007 13:22:00 
    Father  Spencer Stone, "Pen", b. 24 Jul 1869, Chatham, Ontario  
    Mother  Flora Maude Campbell, b. 14 Jan 1872, Chatham, Ontario  
    Stone siblings.
    Stone siblings.
    Cir. 1907. L to R: Thomas, John, Elizabeth, and Robert Stone - Children of Flora Maude Campbell Stone and Spencer Stone.
    Spencer Stone Family
    Spencer Stone Family
    Photo cir. 1897. L to R: Flora Maude Campbell Stone, John Douglas Stone, Robert Spencer Stone, Spencer Stone.
    Maude Campbell - Spencer Stone, family home.
    Maude Campbell - Spencer Stone, family home.
    206 Victoria Ave, Chatham, Ontario, Canada
    Stone Family
    Stone Family
    Flora Maude Campbell Stone and her grown children. Standing L. to R.: Thomas Archibald Stone, John Douglas Stone, Dr. Robert Spencer Stone. Seated L. to R.: Dr. Archibald Campbell Stone, Flora Maude Campbell Stone, Elizabeth Louise Stone Howell. Photo taken in St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada, home of Archibald Stone, Summer 1963 (Source: Ellen Stone Devine)
    Family ID  F38  Group Sheet
    Family  Wilhemina Rose Crawford, b. Jun 1896, Ontario, Canada  
    Married  24 Jun 1924  London, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [11, 12
    >1. Robert Spencer Stone, Jr., b. 6 Jun 1926, Detroit, MI
     2. Ian Crawford Stone, b. 25 Oct 1928
    >3. Margaret Isobel Stone, b. 25 Nov 1929, San Francisco, San Francisco, California
    Last Modified  23 May 2004 12:08:00 
    Family ID  F83  Group Sheet
  • Photos
    Dr. Robert Spencer Stone
    Dr. Robert Spencer Stone
    Dr. Robert Spencer Stone
    Dr. Robert Spencer Stone
    Director of "The Manhattan Project", Maj. General Leslie Groves Presents the Medal Of Merit to members of the 'Atomic Bomb Brain Trust' - Left to right: Gen. Groves; Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist and Nobel Prize winner; Robert S. Stone, Professor of Roentgenology; Harold C. Urey, Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of heavy water; Samuel K. Allison; Director of the Metallurgical Laboratory at the Univ. of Chicago; and Cyril Smith, an associate division head at Los Alamos in charge of preparation of fissionable material for bomb construction - March 20, 1946
    Robert Stone
    Robert Stone
    Stone siblings.
    Stone siblings.
    Cir. 1907. L to R: Thomas, John, Elizabeth, and Robert Stone - Children of Flora Maude Campbell Stone and Spencer Stone.
    Burk, Campbell, Stone group photo
    Burk, Campbell, Stone group photo
    Adults L to R: Mrs. Matilda TURNER Burk (b. circa 1825) , her daughter Mrs. Eunice Mirette BURK Campbell (b. 1845), and her daughter Mrs. Flora Maude CAMPBELL Stone (1861-1969). The children are Flora Maude Campbell Stone's children, (we believe) the eldest two boys, John and Robert Stone.
    1911 Canadian Census - Spencer Stone household
    1911 Canadian Census - Spencer Stone household
    Robert Spencer Stone -Officers Declaration
    Robert Spencer Stone -Officers Declaration
  • Notes 
    • Received the presidential "Medal of Merit" for his medical research work on "The Manhattan Project" (Operation Crossroads).

      Below from a memorial written by co-workers Malcolm D. Jones and Glenn E. Sheline:

      Robert S. Stone, Radiology: San Francisco
      Professor Emeritus

      The death of Robert S. Stone on December 18, 1966, removed from the ranks of Radiology one of its long recognized and ablest leaders. Those who have been associated with Dr. Stone will remember him as a warm friend and a dedicated scientist. He was a meticulous worker, a careful but imaginative administrator, and a radiologist whose scientific contributions have added much to the present stature of the specialty.

      Robert S. Stone was born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, June 5, 1895, and received his B.A. in 1919, M.A. in 1922, M.B. in 1924, and his M.D. in 1928, all from the University of Toronto. His career was interrupted by World War I during which he served as navigator, communications expert, and radio instructor in the Royal Canadian Air Force. This was, of course, a time when both radio communication and military air flight were in their infancy. Dr. Stone's interest in new endeavors was to continue throughout his life. A little known interlude occurred shortly after World War I when he was an Instructor in Anatomy at Peking Union Medical College. At this time he issued his first two scientific publications. One of these dealt with the abnormal sex ensemble of the domestic goat and the other was a detailed description of the central nervous system of a human cyclops.

      On June 24, 1924, Robert Stone and Willena Rose Crawford were married. It was in their shared enjoyment of family, music, and garden that Dr. Stone found added strength and relaxation throughout his professional career.

      An interest in radiology led to training under the direction of his uncle, Dr. Rollin H. Stevens, at the Grace Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, from 1925 to 1928. In 1928, Dr. Stone with his family moved to San Francisco where he became the first full-time radiologist on the faculty of the University of California School of Medicine. He remained with the University of California until his retirement in 1962 and continued afterwards as an Emeritus Professor until his death. Expect for a period during World War II when Dr. Stone was on leave of absence, he served as the Chairman of the Department of Radiology from its inception in 1939 until his retirement. He also directed the Radiological Laboratory from 1949 when it was organized until June 1964. Under his guidance, Radiology in this school developed from a part-time service in the Department of Surgery to a large, modern academic Department of Radiology.

      Dr. Stone's career included many contributions of importance to the Science and practice of Radiology. While he was interested in and published several papers on diagnostic radiology, his more significant work lay in radiation therapy and radiation protection. One of his early achievements was the development in 1934 and the subsequent clinical application of a 1,000 kilovolt apparatus for radiation therapy. With Dr. Joseph Hamilton, he first administered a therapeutic dose of an artificially produced radioisotope to a human being, in March 1936. In the late 1930's Dr. Stone, with Drs. John H. Lawrence and Paul C. Aebersold, pioneered the use of fast neutrons in the treatment of human malignant disease (reported at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in 1939). The neutron studies were interrupted by the Second World War.

      During World War II, Dr. Stone was the Director for Health of the Metallurgy (Plutonium) Project. In this position, he organized and directed the Health Division which consisted of medical, health-physics, and biological research sections. The productivity of this Division and its outstanding radiation safety record represent one of the highlights of Dr. Stone's career. It was for this work that in 1946 he was awarded the Medal of Merit; presented by the President of the United States, this is the highest civilian award. Perhaps the most significant aspect of this work is the great impetus which it has given to research in the then poorly explored regions of radiobiology.

      Interest in radiation protection which had led to Dr. Stone's appointment to the Metallurgy Project was maintained for the balance of his life. This is best evidenced by his active and significant participation as a member of the National Committee on Radiation Protection and Measurements, 1946 to 1966; the Radiological Safety Advisory Committee to the California State Disaster Council; the International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1953 to 1965; and the Expert Advisory Panel on Radiation, World Health Organization, 1957 to 1966. Much of his philosophy regarding radiation hazards was included in the Carman Lecture, "The Concept of a Maximum Permissible Exposure."

      The last of Dr. Stone's major scientific achievements related to the development and experimental application of a 70 mev. synchrotron for cancer therapy. While this instrument ultimately proved too cumbersome for routine clinical application, it provided the basis for many significant biological observations and helped establish the range of clinically useful radiation energies.

      Dr. Stone received many honors and awards. In addition to those already mentioned, these include: President of the Radiological Society of North America, 1943; Gold Medal of the Radiological Society of North America, 1946; Pancoast Lecturer, Philadelphia Roentgen Ray Society, 1946; Janeway Lecturer and Medalist, American Radium Society, 1947; Carman Lecturer, Radiological Society of North America, 1951; Medal for Cancer Control, American Cancer Society, 1953; Gold Medal, American College of Radiology, 1959; Gordon Richards Memorial Lecturer (Canadian Association of Radiologists), 1960; Citation, Atomic Energy Commission, and Gold Medal, 1963; and Honorary LL.D. degree, University of California, 1966.

      Dr. Robert S. Stone has achieved a permanent place in Radiology. He is fondly remembered for his warmth and wisdom by the many colleagues and students who were privileged to study and work with him.

      Malcolm D. Jones
      Glenn E. Sheline

      Below from the California Radiological Society:

      by Earl R. Miller, M.D.
      Volume V- March 10,1967 - No. 1

      The world has lost a great and wise man with the death of Dr. Robert Stone on December 18, 1966. He died at the age of 71 of cancer, the disease with which he was concerned for most of his life.

      Dr. Stone was born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada on June 5, 1895. He received his B.S., MA, M.B, and M.D. all from the University of Toronto between 1919 and 1928. In Peking, China, he served as an Assistant in anatomy at the Peking Union Medical School from 1919 to 1921. His internship was served at Grace Hospital from 1924 to 1925 and he practiced Radiology at the Grace Hospital in Detroit with Dr. Roland H. Stevens from 1925 to 1928.

      He came to the University of California as an Instructor in Radiology in 1928 and rose to Professor there in 1938. In 1939, he became Chairman of the Department of Radiology and served in this capacity from 1939 to 1943 and from 1946 to 1962, the time of his retirement.

      From 1942 to 1946 he was on leave of absence from the University as Associate Project Director of Health of the Metallurgical Project and as visiting Professor of Roentgenology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Stone was the first Chief of Staff at the University of Califormia Hospital from 1954 to 1958. He was instrumental in bringing the Radiological Laboratory to the University in 1951 and served as its Director from 1951 to 1964. It was in this Laboratory that the work on the 70 million volt Synchrotron was done. After his retirement in 1962, he was recalled as Professor Emeritus with the University of California School of Medicine. Until his death, he continued working in the Laboratory.

      During Dr. Stone's long, productive life, he was author or co-author of 60 scientific publications. In his quiet way, he had a profound influence on the field of radiation therapy. He, with J. T. Hamilton, was the first to administer artificial radioactive substances with therapeutic intent He was the first to do million volt therapy, neutron therapy, and therapy with 70 million volt Synchrotron. Each of these accomplishments was a highly significant advance in the field.

      Dr. Stone was highly honored during his lifetime. He received these justly bestowed marks of distinction with humility. He held honorary memberships in the Cancer Society of Guadalajara College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Roentgen Society, Royal Society of Medicine in London, the Canadian Association of Radiologists, and Alpha Omega Alpha. He was given the highest United States civilian award, the Medal of Merit for wartime work in the Metallurgical Project in 1946.

      He also received the Gold Medal of the Radiological Society of North America, the Janeway Medal of the American Radium Society, the Medal of the American Cancer Society for cancer control, the Gold Medal of the American College of Radiology, the Gold Medal of Citation from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and an honorary L. L.D. conferred by the University of California in 1956. He was the Pancoast lecturer 1946, the Carmen Lecturer in 1951, and the Gordon Richard Memorial Lecturer in1960. Dr. Stone served with distinction on many committees on the local, state, national, and intentional levels.

      Dr. Stone was survived by his wife Willemina, his son Robert, and daughter Margaret.

      Throughout his life, Dr. Stone was characterized by his thoughtfulness, compassion, tolerance, kindness, and honesty. His great wisdom and profound understanding of basic problems made him sought by many for his advice. He was partisan only to the truth and because of it, he received respect of all. He was the "Dean" of Radiology because of his sound judgment. As a man, he inspired great loyalty among those with whom he worked. He wore his halos modestly.

      The following article on the Synchrotron is from obtained Dec 2002:

      The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, a division of Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, is operated by Stanford University for the Department of Energy.

      SSRL is a National User Facility which provides synchrotron radiation, a name given to x-rays or light produced by electrons circulating in a storage ring at nearly the speed of light. These extremely bright x-rays can be used to investigate various forms of matter ranging from objects of atomic and molecular size to man-made materials with unusual properties. The obtained information and knowledge is of great value to society, with impact in areas such as the environment, future technologies, health, and national security.

      W. D. McKeough Notes:

      B.A. - University of Toronto CDP 09/05/1917

      "Mr. & Mrs. Spencer Stone have received a certificate from the Canadian Military School, Shorncliffe, England which shows that their son, Lieut. Robert Stone, now with the Flying Corps. and recently reported wounded, passed his examination with first class honours."

      Returned home to Medical School, after teaching 2 years in Peking, China, served his internship and as assistant radiologist at Grace Hospital, Detroit before he went to California.

      CON- 15 Nov 1932
      Dept. of Roentgenology - University of California Medical School, San Francisco
      "new method of photographing the brain through the x-ray"

      CDN - 22 Apr 1946
      Received Medal of Merit from President Truman
      Also Enrico Fermi (Nobel Prize Winner)
      Harold C. Urey (ditto)
      Samuel K. Allison, Cyril Smith

      CON-July 24, 1964
      Received citation from the U.S. Atomic Energy

      The following from The Chatham Daily News 9 Oct 1945:


      Highest credit given to Dr. Stone and his associates for worsting the deadly radioactive elements, enabling the atomic bombs to be delivered to their destinations without a single casualty or near-casualty among the host of scientists required for their protection.

      OAK RIDGE, Tenn., - Oct. 9 Part of the story of how an "ogre" of deadly radioactive elements was completed worsted and the atomic bombs delivered to their destination without a single casualty or near casualty among the hosts of workers required for their production have been revealed here, with the highest credit for the safety record being given a specialized group working under the leadership of Or. Robert S. Stone, eminent radiologist and head of the X-ray Oepartment of the University of California.

      Dr. Robert S. Stone, mentioned in the above is a son of Mrs. Spencer Stone of this city. His father who directed one of the Chatham's pioneer Drygoods establishments, passed away a few years ago. This noted radiologist was born in Chatham and received his early education in the Maple City schools, later graduating in medicine and surgery. He has been head of the X-ray department of the University of California for a number of years.


      Dr. Stone who established headquarters at the University of Chicago at the inception of the program and later transferred to Clinton Laboratories here to facilitate his work in dealing with the health hazards of the pilot plant has the title of Associate Project Oirector for Health on the Plutonium Project. The Clinton Laboratories is the pilot plant for the Plutonium Project at the Hanford Engineer Works near Pasco, Wash. Operated by E. I. DuPont Co.. Clinton Laboratories, now operated by Monsanto Chemical Company of St. Louis, was operated by the University of Chicago up until last July 1.


      While having headquarters here, Dr. Stone has spent much time at Hanford, the University of Chicago, the University of California and other places in furthering his research. Clinton Laboratories is one phase of the Clinton Engineer Works, with the remainder of the plants here being devoted to large-scale concentration of U-235 by the electro-magnetic and gaseous diffusion methods. Ont the health problem involving concentration of U-235 Dr. Stone frequently consulted with Col. Stafford L. Warren, of the Army, who is in charge of that phase.

      SELECTED in 1942

      Dr. Stone was selected to head the plutonium health program in the summer of 1942, and as assisted in planning by Or. S. T. Cantril, Director of the Swedish Tumor Institute at Seattle, Wash. It was recognized at that time by Or. A. H. Compton, then Director of the Plutonium Project, and also connected with the University of Chicago and who is now chancellor of Washington university in St. Louise, that the job undertaken was extremely hazardous from the standpoint of health protection.

      During the last war, the methods of painting watch dials with radium paint resulted in severe deaths. X-ray and radium took their toll of persons working with them. Now a new source of radiations with amounts beyond all previous conceptions faced those dealing with plutonium. The question was how was the health of workers, including many of the world's leading scientists, to be preserved. It was evident that the only logical step was to turn the problem over to the best radiologists available. Thus followed Or. Stone's selection and his organization of the health program.

      The production and isolation of plutonium for use in the atomic bomb represents on of the greatest scientific and industrial achievements of all time. The three years from August, 1942 to August, 1945 saw the complete revolution from a stage in which the element existed only in sub-microscopic quantities to a final climax in which it rained utter destruction on a Japanese city. This accomplishment is all the more remarkable because of the fact that the process by which the plutonium was obtained resulted in the generation of unbelievable amounts of deadly radioactive radiations which stood guard over the precious material like some ogre in an ancient castle and challenged the ingenuity of chemists, physicists, and engineerts to isolate the desired product without themselves becoming victims of their own development


      It was immediately apparent to Dr. Stone and Dr. Cantril when they took over in 1942 that the problem before them consisted of two parts. One was the application of all of the experience and information that had become available in the handling of x-rays, radiums and neutrons in the setting up of safety procedures to be follwed in all research and productin work on the project involving all radioactive hazards then known. The other was to find out as rapidly as possible what special hazards existed on the Plutnium job that were beyond any previous experience. This call (more......)


      "Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Stone have received a certificate from the Canadian Military School, Shorncliffe, England which shows that their son, Lieut. Robert Stone, now with the Flying Corps. and recently reported wounded, passed his examination with first class honours."

      Returned home to medical school, after teaching 2 years in Peking, China, served his internship as assistant radiologist at Grace Hospital, Detroit before he went to California.

      Miami Herald - 16 Jan 1994 (in file)
      America's Human Experiments, Doctors of death aided the Horror

      From "The Plutonium Files" by Eileen Welsome:

      "Stone was a small, benign-looking radiologist who wore glasses and had a thick head of gray hair.  Although he had a gentlemanly demeanor and was well liked by his colleagues, he grew extremely angry when anyone challenged his medical judjment."

      "Born in Canada in 1895, Stone went to Europe with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during World War I, was wounded, and returned to Canada, where he resumed his education.  By 1924 he had a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a medical degree from the University of Toronto.  He joined the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco in 1928, becoming the hospital's first full-time radiologist."

      "Almost immediately, he was drawn into the research across the bay at the Rad Lab.  'Ernest Lawrence was a great stimulus to our department from the very beginning.' Stone recalled in his tape-recorded memoir." [8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20]
  • Sources 
    1. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (

    2. [S468] Darcy McKeough, W. Darcy McKeough, Chart (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S192] J Spencer Howell - Interviews with JSHJr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (Personal interviews with Dad.).

    4. [S1125] Emily Campbell Price, Emily Campbell Price, (Manuscript. 71 pp. Extensive research. Includes maps and transcripts of letters describing family relationships. 10 original copies produced and circulated by the author in 1970. PDF copy available at, p.20 "Robert Stone" (Reliability: 0).

    5. [S679] 1901 Canadian Census, Chatham, Kent Co., Compiled by Hewitt, Doneen, ([database online] Orem, UT: Ancestry, Inc., 2000).

    6. [S1106] Canadian Officers Declaration Statement, Robert Spencer Stone, b. 5 Jun 1895 (Reliability: 0).

    7. [S1106] Canadian Officers Declaration Statement, Robert Spencer Stone, Certificate on file. (Reliability: 0).

    8. [S782] Bulletin of California Radiological Society, Volume V- March 10,1967 - No. 1 (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S891] Charles Levi, Charles Levi, Nov 24th email (Reliability: 0).

    10. [S1250] California Deaths (1940 - 1997), (Family Tree Legends Records Collection (Online Database). Pearl Street Software, 2004-2005.), c=search&first=robert+spencer&last=stone&spelling=Exact&5_year=1895&5_month=0&5_day=0&6_year=1966&6_month=0&6_day=0&4=&7=&8=&SubmitSearch.x=41&SubmitSearch.y=18 (Reliability: 0).

    11. [S891] Charles Levi, Charles Levi, 24 Nov 2003 email to JSH (Reliability: 0).

    12. [S936] Malcolm D. Jones & Glenn E. Sheline, Malcolm D. Jones & Glenn E. Sheline, (, Married June 24, 1924 (Reliability: 0).

    13. [S781] CDN, (includes columns by Victor Lauriston), Oct. 9, 1945 (Reliability: 3).

    14. [S936] Malcolm D. Jones & Glenn E. Sheline, Malcolm D. Jones & Glenn E. Sheline, (

    15. [S937] Operation Crossroads - The Official Pictorial Record, The Office of the Historiean of Joint Task Force One, (Published by Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc. New York 1946), photo of Robert S. Stone receiving Medal of Merit (Reliability: 0).

    16. [S938] Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc., Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc., (Reliability: 0).

    17. [S978] CDP, (Chatam, ON, Canada).

    18. [S1103] Atomic Spaces, Peter Bacon Hales, (University of Illinois Press (August 1, 1999), 447 pages, ISBN: 0252068319 ,), p. 112, 281-82, 278-80 (Reliability: 0).

    19. [S1104] Stone Papers, Robert Spencer Stone, (Division IV - Plutonium Project - Volume IV-20 (1951)), (Reliability: 0).

    20. [S1105] The Plutonium Files, Eileen Welsome, (Delta (October 10, 2000), 592 pages), p.26 (Reliability: 0).

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