Alabama Academy of Honor


James Allen Pittman, Jr.

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1982 and 2002.



James Allen Pittman, Jr., physician and educator, was born April 12, 1927 at Orlando, Florida. He earned the bachelor of science degree at Davidson College, 1948 and the doctor of medicine degree at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1952. He was an intern and Assistant Resident in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston,1952-1954; Clinical Associate in the Endocrinology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, 1954-1956; Trainee at the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, 1956; Instructor, George Washington University, School of Medicine, 1955-1956; Attending Physician at the Endocrine Clinics, Georgetown University, School of Medicine at the District of Columbia, General Hospital and at the Radioisotope Laboratories of the General Hospital, 1955-1956.

He joined the University of Alabama Medical Center, Birmingham as a resident in medicine, 1956-1957 and was appointed Chief Resident in Medicine, 1957-1958; Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1959, and Associate Professor from 1962-1964; in 1964 Professor of Medicine; served as Co-Chairman, Department of Medicine, 1969-1971; 1971-1973 - Assistant Chief Medical Director, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington DC; Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Alabama in Birmingham, 1974; Associate Professor of Physiology, 1966-1971; Professor of Physiology and Biophysics in 1973.

He enjoyed association with numerous professional organizations: The Endocrine Society, American College of Physicians, American Thyroid Association, American Chemical Society, National Institutes of Health, National Board of Medical Examiners, National Library of Medicine, Drug Research Board, Alabama State Committee of Public Health, Graduate Medical Education, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

He authored Diagnosis and Treatment of Thyroid Diseases and many scientific papers published in professional journals. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, the Birmingham Country Club, Shoal Creek, and the Relay House. Davidson College in North Carolina conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Science on him in 1980; also Doctor of Science from UAB, 1982.

James Allen Pittman married Constance Ming-Chung Shen on February 19, 1955 and they have two sons: James Clinton and John Merrill.

Mr. Pittman passed away January 12, 2014.