Born on February 16, 1897 in Washington, D.C., Richard Francis Jones enjoyed a pretty sheltered upbringing. He attended public schools and graduated from Armstrong Technical High School in 1914. He received a Bachelor of Science from Howard University in 1919 and then his M.D. in 1922. His education was mostly financed by the land owned by his family from 1840s.
In 1923, after getting his medical degree, he became an assistant in gynecology under Dr. Hartford Ransome Burwell and an assistant in urology (a branch of medicine focusing on surgical and medical diseases of male and female urinary tract systems and the male reproductive system) under Dr. Milton Augusta Francis, which was immediately followed by an internship in Freedmen’s Hospital. During the same time he opened up a general practice on 717 Florida Ave, N.W. Washington D.C. That same year he also joined the NAACP and was one of the early members of it. 1930-1932, he was the President of Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia and also President of the John A. Andrew Clinical Society and the Association of Former Interns and Residents of Freedmen’s Hospital. Dr. Jones has done a lot of valuable work in the community and is seen as a very affluent member of the black community. In 1930, he was appointed instructor of urology on the Howard medical faculty. Then in 1933, he was appointed Chief of the division of urology. In 1936, Dr. Jones was named diplomat of the American Board of Urology, the first black to do this as well as the first black Howard graduate to be certified in the urology field. He was the 6th Negro physician in all of American history to be board certified in a specialty. From 1958 until his retirement in 1970, Dr. Jones was Freedmen’s Hospital’s medical director.
His main contributions include his many publications and exhibits. The chief medium of Dr. Jones’ scientific findings was the Journal of the National Medical Association. In 1950, he also pioneered reporting of the therapeutic uses of the antibiotic Terramycin. Dr. Jones also did a lot of work in effecting liaisons resulting in the desegregation of many organizations such as the D.C. Tuberculosis Association, the Social Hygiene Society and the Board of Public Welfare. He was also involved in federal government networks, appointed as a member of the National Advisory Committee to Selective Service for Physicians by President John F. Kennedy and later reappointed by Lyndon B, Johnson. They even sent Dr. Jones as an international consultant to ensure the compliance of desegregation orders by military units.
- Early member of NAACP
- The first black to do this as well as The first black Howard graduate to be certified in the urology field
- The 6th Negro physician in all of American history to be board certified in a specialty