Semon, Sir Felix

views updated


SEMON, SIR FELIX (1849–1921), British physician. Semon was born in Danzig, Germany, and settled in London in 1874, where he obtained a position as a clinical assistant at the Throat Hospital. From 1882 to 1897 he was physician for diseases of the throat at St. Thomas' Hospital and from 1894 to 1896 president of the Laryngological Society of London, which he helped to found. When he retired the Semon Lectureship was founded in his honor at the University of London.

Semon counted prominent English and overseas personalities among his patients and attended Queen Victoria and other members of the royal family as well as Gladstone. At the queen's recommendation he became confidential physician to Prince Edward, who made him physician extraordinary to the king after his accession to the throne. He was knighted in 1905.

Semon was vice president of the National Hospital for Epilepsy and Paralysis. His research into the progressive destructive lesion of the motor nerve supplying the laryngeal muscles brought him to the formulation of the Semon-Rosenbach Law. His published a number of works including an autobiography (ed. by H.C. Semon and T.A. McIntyre, 1926).


P.H. Emden, Jews of Britain (1943); Who was Who 19161928.