Born in Virginia, Thomas Hepburn attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University. He moved to Connecticut for an internship at Hartford Hospital. Upon completion, he accepted a permanent position at the hospital. The state’s first urologist, he established the urology department at Hartford Hospital.
Hepburn was committed to educating his patients and the community about venereal diseases. He also advocated for women to have access to birth control. He co-founded the Connecticut Social Hygiene Association, which was dedicated to improving health and eliminating sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
After the death of his first wife, Katharine Houghton, Hepburn married Madeline Santa Croce. Hepburn met Croce while she was caring for her dying father at Hartford Hospital. He had commented that she would make an excellent nurse to which she replied that she only had an eighth-grade education. In response, Hepburn paid for her to complete her schooling. She became one of Hepburn’s surgical nurses.
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Britton, Andrew. Katharine Hepburn: Star as Feminist. Columbia University Press, New York, 1984, pp. 41. Accessed at http://books.google.com/books?id=_EmVcJIkyHQC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=dr.+thomas+norval+hepburn&source=bl&ots=erusJa0KS-&sig=cJhuCWwQb-jDaw_PS2BPktV6g94&hl=en&ei=KUV1TMrGLYLUtQP4wMmgDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAjge#v=onepage&q=dr.%20thomas%20norval%20hepburn&f=false
Kate the Great. Robert Hepburn and Dr. Hepburn. Accessed at http://katethegreatnet.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=family&action=display&thread=463
Leaming, Barbara. Katharine Hepburn. Crown Publishers, Inc. New York, 1985, pp. 451 Accessed at http://books.google.com/books?id=DaUrTpEf4qgC&pg=PA451&lpg=PA451&dq=Madeline+Santa+Croce+Hepburn&source=bl&ots=HGOLNFdK5b&sig=LjHAOcjNeAnn32IaSvR5mUEhz8E&hl=en&ei=KmJ1TMHCDIGesQP8yr2gDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Madeline%20Santa%20Croce%20Hepburn&f=false
Wikipedia. American Social Health Association. Accessed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Social_Health_Association
Thomas Hepburn, Public Domain