SONES, F. MASON, JR., M.D. (28 Oct. 1918-28 Aug. 1985) was a medical science pioneer in cardiac cinematography whose work was instrumental in the development of coronary bypass and cardiac surgery. Born in Noxapater, Mississippi to Frank Mason and Myrtle (Bryan) Sones, Sones graduated from Western Maryland College in 1940. He received his M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1943, and from 1944 to 1946 served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific. Sones later interned at University Hospital in Baltimore and was a resident at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

In 1950, Sones joined the CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION as the Director of Pediatric Cardiology and the Cardiac Laboratory. Sones' first major contribution was the introduction of cardiac catheterization of neonatal patients in 1954. His 1958 discovery that human coronary arteries could safely be invaded with catheters and dyes to photograph their configurations initiated a new era for cardiology. Sones was also the first to combine cardiac catheterization, angiography, and high speed x-ray motion picture photography as a single procedure. Sones' subsequent work in video engineering (with Eastman Kodak), the chemistry of dye compounds, design of arteriography equipment, and optical image amplification allowed for improved cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment. From 1966 to 1975, Sones was the Director of the Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Disease, and after served as senior physician of the Department of Cardiology.

Sones was honored with numerous awards during his career, including the American Medical Association's 1978 Scientific Achievement Award and the Cumming Humanitarian Award in 1966 and 1967. He founded the Society for Cardiac Angiography and was its first president. Sones also served as the national consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General, and worked with the National Institute of Health in the study of cardiovascular disease.

In 1942, Sones married Geraldine Newton. The couple had four children, Frank Mason III, Geraldine Patricia, Steven, and David. Sones died in Cleveland. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Article Categories