William Shippen was Surgeon General of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, founder of the first American maternity hospital, founder of the medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and the first colonial American teacher of anatomy, surgery, and obstetrics.

Full Name William Shippen Jr.
Who U.S. Surgeon General
Birth Date October 21, 1736
Death Date July 11, 1808
Country United States
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Cause of Death unknown

Princeton University

University of Edinburgh Medical School

Father William Shippen Sr.
Mother Susanna Harrison Shippen
Spouse Alice Lee
Siblings unknown

Ann Hume Shippen

Nancy Shippen

Thomas Lee Shippen


Benjamin Rush was a law student under Shippen. Years later, Rush resigned from his post as Surgeon General due to a bitter feud between them.

Shippen was the great-cousin of Peggy Shippen.

Shippen co-founded the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania in 1765, along with John Morgan.

Shippen was a friend of John Morgan, whom he met while at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. However, Shippen eventually conspired to replace Morgan in his post as Surgeon General, and succeeded. Morgan reported that tensions between the other surgeons in the department, particularly the ruthless Shippen, was so unbearable that he resigned. Needless to say, Shippen and Morgan did not remain friends.

Through his marriage to Alice Lee, Shippen was the son-in-law of Thomas Lee.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - Born here, 1736. Died here, 1808.

Princeton University - Attended university here, 1750 - 1754.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - Attended medical school here, 1757 - 1761.

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