John Simon (1816–1904), an English physician, was appointed surgeon and lecturer in pathology at St. Thomas's Hospital in London in 1847. In 1848 he became the first medical officer of health to the City of London, holding this position until 1855. His cogent, well-written reports on the health problems of the city, and the steps taken to deal with these problems, are regarded as models of preventive medicine and the administration of public health services. In 1858, Simon became medical officer to the Privy Council, a post equivalent to the modern office of chief medical officer or, in the United States, surgeon general. Simon had overall responsibility for the organization and administration of national public health services. He oversaw the passage of the Public Health Act of 1875, but resigned the following year because of disagreements about implementing policies he advocated.
Among Simon's principal achievements, two stand out. The first was his supervision of measures taken in 1866 to enhance public sanitation,
JOHN M. LAST