Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was founded in 1884 as New York Cancer Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper West Side by a group that included John J. Astor and his wife, Charlotte. In 1899, the name was changed to General Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases. In 1916, the word “General” was dropped and the new name became Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases.
In 1936, the hospital began a move to our present location on York Avenue, on land donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the new Memorial Hospital opened in 1939. The building, which was reconstructed between 1970 and 1973, stands on the site today.
In the 1940s, two former General Motors executives, Alfred P. Sloan and Charles F. Kettering, joined forces to establish the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI), which has since become one of the nation’s leading biomedical research institutions. Built adjacent to Memorial Hospital, SKI was formally dedicated in 1948.
In 1960, a new corporate entity — Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — was formed to coordinate and guide the overall policy for Memorial Hospital and the Sloan Kettering Institute, and in 1980 these entities were unified into a single institution, with a single president and CEO.
Over the years, we have continued to expand our outpatient facilities and services to meet the growing needs of our patients, physicians, and researchers.
Learn more about Memorial Sloan Kettering’s history in our historical timeline.