- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 14, 2006

NORFOLK (AP) — Dr. Mason Andrews, an obstetrician and gynecologist who delivered the country’s first “test-tube” baby in 1981, died Friday.

The 87-year-old former Norfolk mayor was a co-founder of the Eastern Virginia Medical School and helped the school’s Jones Institute become a leader in reproductive medicine.

Dr. Andrews delivered an estimated 5,000 babies in Norfolk, including the Dec. 28, 1981, delivery of Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the country’s first baby conceived outside the mother’s body.

He recruited Dr. Howard E. Jones Jr. and his wife, Dr. Georgeanna S. Jones, to establish the in-vitro fertilization program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Howard E. Jones Jr. said they began to see there were ethical and religious issues to solve, in addition to the medical problems.

“It was Mason’s ability to deal with public policy aspects to enable us to move forward,” said Dr. Jones, whose wife died last year. “He was the key to making the thing happen.”

Mrs. Carr’s birth by Caesarean section “represented the beginning, but the difficulties that were encountered made it evident there was still more work to do,” he said.

While Mrs. Carr’s delivery was one of Dr. Andrew’s last as an obstetrician, he continued working in reproductive medicine while making his way into public service.

He served 26 years on the Norfolk City Council, beginning in 1974, and was mayor from 1992 to 1994.

Dr. Andrews also was key in helping revitalize the city of a quarter-million, promoting a strategy that combined careful planning and spending millions of dollars of municipal money to lure private investment.

Mayor Paul Fraim called Dr. Andrews “one of the most important civic figures in the history of the city, from his work at City Hall to being one of the founders of Eastern Virginia Medical School.

“Dr. Andrews touched most everything that’s occurred in Norfolk for nearly half a century.”

Mr. Fraim also called Dr. Andrews a pioneer in race relations.

“He was delivering black children at the old Norfolk Community Hospital at a moment in time when there were no white doctors on the staff there,” he said. “He was just an inspiration to everyone.”

Dr. Andrews earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1940 and finished medical school at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After completing a tour in the Navy, he finished his residency at Johns Hopkins in 1950.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Dr. Andrews is survived by a wife and two children.

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