Henry Gray was born to Thomas Gray, a King's Messenger, and his wife Ann Nee Walker in 1827. He was born at 8 Wilton Street, London where he would reside until his death. He began his medical education at Saint George's Hospital (near Hyde Park) in 1845. He was an eager student, and three years later in 1848 he won the triennial prize of the Royal College of Surgeons for his essay on the nerves of the human eye. By 1852, he had become a Fellow of The Royal Society of London. Aside from getting to join cool clubs, his career was also on the upswing as he climbed the ladder from a demonstrator of anatomy to curator of the museum and finally to lecturer on anatomy at Saint George's.

In 1858 Gray published the first edition of his Anatomy, which rapidly became the ultimate authority for anatomy students throughout the world. A second edition appeared in 1860. Much of the success of this classic work was due to the beautiful illustrations by Dr H Vandyke Carter.

In 1861 Gray was about to be appointed Assistant Surgeon at Saint George's: a rare honor for a man of only 34. He had recently become engaged to a Miss Winter. However, while attending his nephew, who had smallpox, Henry himself contracted the disease and died.


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