George Alexander Gibson

George Alexander Gibson
Gibson's house at 3 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh
The grave of George Alexander Gibson, Dean Cemetery

George Alexander Gibson FRSE FRCPE (27 January 1854 – 18 January 1913) was a Scottish physician, medical author and amateur geologist. As an author he wrote on the diverse fields of both geology and heart disease. The Gibson Memorial Lecture is named after him. He was the first to discover a heart condition – the Gibson Murmur – which is named after him.


He was born at Kelliebank in Muckhart on 27 January 1854, the son of George Gibson, a solicitor based in Alloa, and his wife Jane Rae Brown. He was educated at Dollar Academy. He then studied law at both Glasgow University and Edinburgh University but instead chose to change his study to Medicine and graduated BSc in 1874. He won the Falconer Memorial Fellowship and graduated DSc in 1877 with a thesis on the old red sandstone of Shetland. He then undertook postgraduate studies in London, Dublin and Berlin, before gaining his MD from Edinburgh University in 1881.

After a very brief spell at Birmingham General Hospital he was appointed Senior Physician at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Lauriston Place. He also worked at the New Town Dispensary and Deaconess Hospital. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1881. His proposers were Sir William Turner, Daniel John Cunningham, Sir Archibald Geikie and Sir Charles Wyville Thomson. In 1910 he was elected a member of the Aesculapian Club.

In 1912 he spoke to the AGM of the British Medical Association on non-valvular cardiac disease. In August 1912 he himself became a victim of cardiac disease, and his health broke. A cruise to Norway failed to revive his health. Despite complete rest his health went further into relapse at Christmas of 1912.

He died at home, 3 Drumsheugh Gardens, in Edinburgh's fashionable West End on the morning of Saturday 18 January 1913 and is buried in Dean Cemetery in the west of the city. The grave lies in the northern extension backing onto the dividing wall to the original cemetery near its east end.

After his death a campaign in the British Medical Journal quickly resulted in the foundation of the Gibson Memorial Lecture.


He was married to Lucy Jane Philips (1847-1948) who lived to the age of 101.

Their son George Herbert Rae Gibson DSO FRCPE Croix de Guerre (1881-1932) followed in his father's footsteps as a doctor and was also a noted war hero. He was also author of the noted book Maple Leaves in Flanders Field.


Gibson Murmur, a heart condition which he first described, is named after him.


Other memberships

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