Family Login:

Dr. Geza J. Jako
  • In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to:)
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
    230 E Ohio Street
    Suite 304
    Chicago, IL 60611-3201

Pause Best of Times by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
Share This Obituary
Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Geza by adding your memories.


Arrangements made by

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
Get Directions

Profile of Gately Funeral Home

View Phone Number

Send Flowers
 Send Flowers

Memories & Candles

“Please all Dr. Jakko family accept my sadness about the lost of this special and kind doctor.I took my soon Ricardo at this time 3 years old to be...Read More »
1 of 23 | Posted by: Rozy Radomysler Strozenberg

“Dr. Jako was the finest and most productive physician I have had the pleasure of knowing.We worked together on a number of minimally invasive...Read More »
2 of 23 | Posted by: Ben Brock - Orlando, FL - Friend

“My sincere condolences to all of Geza's family. I miss Geza and pray for him, he was a very great man. Whilst knowing most of Geza's accomplishments...Read More »
3 of 23 | Posted by: Frederick N. Veres - Lynn, MA

4 of 23 | Posted by: Maire Gal - Montreal

“So sorry to hear about his passing. I was one of his first patient, when he came here. He went above and beyond the call of his work ,he so loved....Read More »
5 of 23 | Posted by: DIANE Forrest - Lynnfield, MA

“Sajnos egy nagyszer orvos, kutató és felfedez távozott el közülünk. Nagy támogatója volt a magyarországi...Read More »
6 of 23 | Posted by: Dr. Király Zsolt

“Please accept my most heartfelt condolences. I was saddened when I heard the news of Dr. Jako's passing. Although I only knew him a short time it was...Read More »
7 of 23 | Posted by: Kerry Kelly - Boston, MA

“To Chris and the Jako family, we are so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. His accomplishments are very impressive and he is certainly a...Read More »
8 of 23 | Posted by: Sandra & Richard Palumbo - MA

“Dear Chris And Family Just Want To Say How Sorry We Are To Hear Of Your Dads Passing What A great Man.. God Bless You All Cathy And Ernie Karelas ”
9 of 23 | Posted by: Ernie Cathy Karelas - Melrose, MA

“For his life's work, I express my gratitude to Professor Geza Julius Jako; medical immortal, polymath, visionary, pioneer and the epitome of...Read More »
10 of 23 | Posted by: Dr. Nikos Soukos - Saugus, MA

“On Sept/ 22, 1988, thanks to an invitation from Dr. Jako, his fellow Hungarian and high school classmate in Budapest, Dr. Edward Teller spoke at a...Read More »
11 of 23 | Posted by: arnold koch - melrose, MA

“Dear Maria, Ron, Chris and Cindy, Please accept my sincerest condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of working with Dr...Read More »
12 of 23 | Posted by: Linda McNamara - friend

“A friend and wonderful colleague of Dr. P. Anthony Penta, I remember him well and worked with him at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in the OR. May he...Read More »
13 of 23 | Posted by: Louise Penta - Naples, FL

“With deepest sympathy, I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Dr Jako. I have many fond memories of the wonderful birthday parties. I also remember...Read More »
14 of 23 | Posted by: Susan Favret - Atlanta, GA

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Jako passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Gus & Cristina Raga ”
15 of 23 | Posted by: Gus Raga - Barcelona - Friend

“So sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Jako. I have fond memories of Bellevue and birthday parties with Ron, Cindy, and Chris. You are in my thoughts...Read More »
16 of 23 | Posted by: Elizabeth McNamara Liwo - Melrose, MA

“I am deeply sorry to hear of Doctor Jako's passing. I have worked with Dr. Jako for over thirty years on many of his instruments. He was a man with...Read More »
17 of 23 | Posted by: Charles Kelley - Peabody, MA

“Dear Maria and family Gen and I were saddened to hear of Geza's passing. He was truly a giant in his field. Geza's accomplishments will live for ever...Read More »
18 of 23 | Posted by: Dr.Francis McNamara - Rockport, MA

“Like storm clouds that give way to sunlight, Grief will give way to joy when our loved ones are resurrected. Mark 5:42 ”
19 of 23 | Posted by: - Junee

“A giant above all other giants, Geza Jako was a biomedical engineer before there were biomedical engineers. The pioneer of micro and laser surgery...Read More »
20 of 23 | Posted by: Harvey Apotheker, DMD - Templeton, MA

“So sorry for your loss all dow I did not Know dr jako I know he had a lot to do with my 6 back surgeries if it wasn't for his inventions with the...Read More »
21 of 23 | Posted by: Robert L Bailot sr - Everett, MA

“Chris-it is with sadness that I heard the passing of your dad. Reading his obituary you made many great contributions to medicine. My thoughts are...Read More »
22 of 23 | Posted by: Bill Rittman - Lynnfield, MA

“The Gately Family and Staff wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable....Read More »
23 of 23 | Posted by: John W. Gately, John H. Gately, & Fred Sprague

Professor Dr. Geza J. Jako from Melrose, Massachusetts was a world famous surgeon, physician scientist, professor, inventor, educator, presidential appointee, loving husband, devoted father, cherished grandfather, and visionary. He was the inventor of soft tissue microsurgery, laser surgery, modern techniques of minimally invasive surgery, and a White House Advisor for Cancer to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He passed away surrounded by his family on November 1st. He was 85.

Dr. Jako was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930 and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Semmelweis Medical University in 1954. He became interested in the field of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgery, as his maternal grandfather, Professor Geza Krepuska, was the first chairman of Otology at the Semmelweis Medical University. As a medical student, Dr. Jako's interests included physics and engineering, and he built one of the first electronystamograph (for vertigo investigations) in the world as well as hearing measuring instruments.

As a "Freedom Fighter" during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution against the occupying Soviet Union, Dr. Jako organized the ambulance and medical emergency service, after which he was forced to escape the Communist backlash. His former hospital in Budapest, Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital, is now recognized as the "Hospital of the 1956 Revolution" and two historic commemorative plaques attest to his contributions during the revolution, and in 2000 he was recognized for his efforts with a Hungarian Knighthood.

Dr. Jako arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1957 after crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard a U.S. Navy Military troop transporter named the US Marine Carp as a refugee. He completed his specialty training in ENT, Head and Neck Surgery at Harvard Medical School and later served on the faculty. In 1962, while at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, he was the first to implant two electrodes into a patient's cochlear to hear sounds. His pioneering efforts later lead to the development of cochlear implants.

Also in 1962, he developed the first microsurgical instruments for the surgical treatment of the vocal cords and throat cancer. In the same year, he established a private practice in a northern suburb of Boston, Melrose, Massachusetts while continuing to operate in Boston hospitals. At Melrose-Wakefield Hospital he first applied these techniques, which later became recognized as minimally invasive surgery.

In the late-1960s, he moved to Boston University School of Medicine (BU) while also continuing to operate at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. While at BU, he used the first surgical carbon dioxide (CO2) laser that he and his physicist friend, Dr. Thomas Polanyi†, developed. They used the laser on a number of preclinical experiments. The first successful human use of the laser in surgery, other than that of the eye, occurred in 1971. Dr. Jako and his colleagues, Drs. M. Stuart Strong and Charles Vaughn†, at BU conducted the surgery to treat a patient with a vocal cord tumor. Within a short period of time, Dr. Jako had demonstrated that the laser is suited to the treatment of a wide range of head and neck lesions, and he promoted the wider use of lasers in "all" medical disciplines with special emphasis on cancer treatment. He continued to utilize the laser in his international surgical practice with patients from around the world at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital until he retired from surgery in 1995, however he continued practicing medicine in the VA Healthcare System until 2003.

In 1973, he was appointed Professor and Director of Research at BU. He received a Professorship in Biomedical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, and was Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and conducted laser research in the MIT Spectroscopy Laboratory. In the 1970s, he spent two four-year terms in top advisory positions at the National Institutes of Health in Communicative Sciences and General Medical Sciences where he sanctioned matters concerned with biophysics, bioengineering, and genetics. He was then involved in matters surrounding the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 where US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began the regulation of medical devices, at around which time he was the President of the Otolaryngology (ENT) Council.

In 1984, Dr. Jako published the new concept for fusing diagnostic (CT, MRI, and Ultrasound) images for improved diagnosis and surgery, referred to today as computer–assisted, image guided surgical planning and therapy. In the late 1980s, in collaboration with his friend Dr. Ferenc A. Jolesz†, widely recognized as "the father of modern day image-guided therapy," they pioneered and published the new concept of MRI-Guided Interstitial Laser Therapy.

In the 1980s, Dr. Jako was a Founding Member, Past President, and Honorary Member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Additionally, he was an honorary and emeritus member of numerous international and domestic medical societies, and received several international and domestic awards for advancing his medical specialty and pioneering laser and microsurgery. Of note, he received the prestigious "Hektoen Gold" award from the American Medical Association in 1972 for inventing Laser Surgery, the Semmelweis Memorial Medal awards from his alma mater in 1972 and 1984, the "Special Commendation Award for Advancing Medicine" by the Harvard University Senate in 1995, and the American College of Surgeons recognized his contributions in Laser Surgery as the architect of one of the fifty significant inventions in surgery during the second half of the 20th Century. Dr. Jako is recognized as "the father of laser surgery," and his students, such as Dr. Steven M. Zeitels at Massachusetts General Hospital, have gone on to become some of the top ENT and Laser surgeons in the world.

He was an early supporter and member to the Hungarian Society of Massachusetts with his close friend and former classmate Professor Dr. Károly Balogh. Dr. Jako was elected to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2001. His work, entitled "Hungarian Born Scientists who made the 20th Century", is exhibited in the Hall of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. There he is among two dozen other scientists such as Eotvos†, Szentgyorgyi†, Teller†, von Bekessy†, and other Nobel Prize Laureates.

Endoscopic laser surgery in ENT became one of the most important treatments for throat cancer