History of The Endocrine Society

For 100 years the Endocrine Society has been at the forefront of hormone science and public health. It began in 1916 when a group of physicians interested in the expanding field of endocrinology gathered at the American Medical Association meeting in Detroit to discuss the formation of a professional society dedicated to the study of internal secretions.

As a result of this original meeting, the group founded the Association for the Study of Internal Secretions in 1917. The mission of the pioneering band of 300 charter members was “the advancement, promulgation, and exchange of knowledge regarding the internal secretions.”  This was to be accomplished through annual meetings and the publication of a journal.  

The premier annual meeting, now called ENDO, has been held each year since 1916, except for 1943 and 1945 during World War II. Realizing the increasing importance of endocrinology to general medicine, the Council in 1947 also established an annual postgraduate assembly now known as the Clinical Endocrinology Update (CEU). This three-day meeting provides clinicians with the most current information on best practices.

Publication of the society journal Endocrinology began in 1917.  With the continuing growth of the society and the field of endocrinology, the number of publications grew to include the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (1941), Endocrine Reviews (1980), and Molecular Endocrinology (1987). In October 2016, Molecular Endocrinology published its final issue, and in November 2016 the journal combined aims and scope with Endocrinology to become Endocrinology, covering all areas of molecular and physiological basis of endocrine health and disease. The society’s newest journal, Journal of the Endocrine Society, launched in January 2017 as an online-only open access journal. The Society also publishes a monthly magazine, Endocrine News (2001).

In 1952, the society changed its name to the Endocrine Society. Throughout its history, the Society has counted many highly esteemed physicians and researchers among its membership, including 10 Nobel Laureates, four of whom were past presidents of the Endocrine Society.

For more information about the history of the Endocrine Society and the history of endocrinology, visit the chronological timeline and our Hall of Presidents.

Year Milestone
1916 The Association for the Study of Internal Secretions was initiated at the American Medical Association Meeting held in Detroit, MI.
1917 First issue of Endocrinology published. First meeting of the Association for the Study of Internal Secretions was held on June 4, 1917 at the Hotel Manhattan in New York City.
1918 The Certificate of Incorporation of the Society was filed in the offices of the Secretary for the State of Delaware on January 13, 1918. The first president was Charles E. de M. Sajous.
1941 The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology was first published,. 
1947 Annual Postgraduate Assembly established, later renamed Clinical Endocrinology Update.
1950 Dr. Jane A. Russell was the first woman elected to office in the society. She served as Vice President from 1950–1951.
1952 The Association for the Study of Internal Secretions officially changes name to the Endocrine Society.
1957 Fred Conrad Koch Lifetime Achievement Award established.
1961 First Executive Secretary hired for central office in Oklahoma City.
1974 Central office moved to Bethesda, Maryland, under care of Executive Secretary Nettie Karpin.
1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to Endocrine Society Members Rosalyn Yalow, Roger Guillemin, and Andrew Schally.
1978 Rosalyn Yalow took office as the first female President of the Endocrine Society.
1980 First issue of Endocrine Reviews published.
1987 First issue of Molecular Endocrinology published.
1991 Society celebrated 75th Anniversary with Remembrances in Endocrinology.
1997 The Endocrine Society established the Hormone Foundation, a public education affiliate, later renamed the Hormone Health Network.
2001 Endocrine News, a monthly news and feature magazine, first published.
2006 The Clark T. Sawin Memorial Library and Resource Center was established at the Endocrine Society’s national office.
2010 Hormones and Cancer first published.
2014 The Endocrine Society relocated to downtown Washington, DC, close to Capitol Hill and other non-profit organizations in the health and science space.
2016 Society marked its 100th anniversary with a Congressional Reception, special annual meeting programming, a Centennial website, and celebratory journal articles.
2017 The Endocrine Society published its first online only, open-access journal, the Journal of the Endocrine Society (JES).