William Jason Mixter was born in 1880 and graduated from the Harvard Medical School class of 1906. Like his father, Mixter was a prominent surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and in 1911 the two shared the job of overseeing all neurosurgery at that institution. By the early 1930s, W. J. Mixter was considered to be one of the nation's leading experts in spinal surgery, and he went on to become the first chief of the neurosurgery department at Massachusetts General Hospital. He served in the U. S. Army in both world wars and was actively involved in his local church community in Boston for many years. In 1934, at the age of 54, Mixter and Joseph S. Barr published an article on the intervertebral disc lesion in the New England Journal of Medicine. That article fundamentally changed the popular understanding of sciatica at that time, and for this work Mixter is generally credited by his contemporaries as being the man who best clarified the relation between the intervertebral disc and sciatica. Mixter and Barr's landmark report helped to establish surgery's prominent role in the management of sciatica at the time. Over the next few decades, discectomy surgery increased in popularity tremendously, and some refer to that period as the “dynasty of the disc.” 1).