Dr. George Augustus Simpson , George A. Simpson MD, Florida's first black board-certified general surgeon
Dr. George Augustus Simpson, First Board Certified, Black general surgeon in the State of Florida.

Dr. George Augustus Simpson, a medical and social trailblazer and activist, a civil rights leader in Miami-Dade County, Florida in the early 1960’s was born on September 24, 1925, in New York, New York. Dr. George Simpson served his country in the U.S. Army through Surgical Service. He is licensed to practice medicine in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Illinois.

Dr. George Simpson fought to create opportunities for his patients and his peers. He became a leader in the local civil rights movement. He integrated lunch counters—including the hospital cafeteria. And he learned non-violent resistance from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself when King visited Miami’s black churches.

He is a product of New York Public Schools having attended Townsend Harris High School. Dr. Simpson went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from City College of New York and a medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of Central Tennessee College, Meharry Medical College is one of the nation’s oldest private historically black health sciences schools.

Dr. George Simpson would meet the love of his life and wife of 70 years, Dr. Dazelle Dean Simpson at Meharry Medical College where they met while studying medicine.

They married in 1947, and shortly after moved to her hometown of Miami, Florida, where they opened a successful medical practice in Overtown and Liberty City and practiced there for more than 40 years.

Dr. Dazelle Dean Simpson, a trailblazer in her own right, became Miami’s first black female pediatrician in 1953.

The granddaughter of Coconut Grove real estate pioneer E.W.F. Stirrup, Dr. Dazelle Simpson graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class at George Washington Carver in Coconut Grove. She graduated magna cum laude from Fisk College in Nashville in 1945. And then graduated at the top of her class from Meharry Medical College in Nashville in 1950.

Dr. George Simpson made a name for himself in 1958 as Florida’s first black board-certified general surgeon. He went on to be an Instructor in Surgery at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital where he was the first African American to perform major general surgery and to be on the teaching staff in General Surgery.

A champion for making healthcare more accessible to the Black community, in 1969 Dr. George Simpson became medical director of Miami’s first community health center: The Equal Opportunity Family Health Center, now known as the Jessie Trice Community Health Center. Located in Liberty City, it was a groundbreaking facility that hired social workers to fan out into the community to gather information about residents and their needs. It also became the first center of its kind to treat alcoholism through mental health programs.

He is a founding member of the Jackson Memorial’s Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the first physician’s union in Dade County. Dr. George Simpson was a professor of Family Medicine from 1968 to 2000.

George Simpson retired from private practice in 1990, after serving Miami-Dade for 32 years, but continued to work with the department of Family Medicine at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital

Dr. George Simpson was very actively involved in his community through the Family Christian Association of America, the Coconut Grove Local Development Corporation, the Economic Opportunity Family Health Center, the New Horizons Local Development Corporation, the Alliance for Ethical Government, the Dade County Area Health Education Center, and many more community development corporations. He is an original Member of the Dade County Community Relations Board.

Dr. George Simpson’s involvement in the community also included his work with community development as an owner, developer, Board Chairman, Board Member, and manager. This work resulted in the construction of over 250 affordable housing and homeless living units throughout Miami-Dade County.


Times, S. F., Press, A., Report, S., Zenger.news, Hanif, C., & Beatty, R. (2013, April 18). Legacy of service: Simpsons being honored. South Florida Times. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from http://www.sfltimes.com/uncategorized/legacy-of-service-simpsons-being-honored

Henry, C. (2020, February 19). A pioneering black doctor, Dazelle Simpson, took care of Miami kids for decades, dies at 95. The Westside Gazette. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://thewestsidegazette.com/a-pioneering-black-doctor-dazelle-simpson-took-care-of-miami-kids-for-decades-dies-at-95/

WLRN 91.3 FM | By Sammy Mack. (2018, June 19). Exhibit explores the hardships and triumphs of Black Health Care in Miami. WLRN. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.wlrn.org/health-news-florida/2018-06-13/exhibit-explores-the-hardships-and-triumphs-of-black-health-care-in-miami

Candea, B. (2013, May 19). Meet 2 doctors who broke barriers in Miami. WPLG. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.local10.com/news/2013/05/19/meet-2-doctors-who-broke-barriers-in-miami/

In honor of Black History Month: 6 history-making South Florida African American Healthcare Pioneers Everyone Should know. Health Foundation of South Florida. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://hfsf.org/in-honor-of-black-history-month-6-history-making-south-florida-african-american-healthcare-pioneers-everyone-should-know/