Manson was born June 6, 1931, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, to Scottish parents. He attended Cambridge University and received his medical training at Guy’s Hospital in London. Manson met his wife, Mary Lyon, while she was in England working on her dissertation for Harvard University. They were married in 1958 and moved to Cambridge, Mass., where they remained for the rest of his life.
After doing further training in orthopedics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston, Manson began working at Mount Auburn Hospital, where he was named president of the medical staff in 1976 and was chief of orthopedics from 1972-1984. In 1963 he also began working part-time at MIT Medical. For about 20 years starting in the 1970s, he ran a hemophilia clinic at Children's Hospital.
As time went by, “he did more and more work at MIT,” Mary Manson said. “He became very fond of MIT and his experience there was very, very happy.” Manson retired from MIT in 1999.
“Gavin was an outstanding clinician, caregiver and colleague who served the MIT community for over 30 years,” said William M. Kettyle, M.D., medical director at MIT Medical. Manson, who was an orthopedic generalist (unusual in that field, Kettyle noted), did occasional surgery but also performed evaluations and continuing care for patients with musculoskeletal problems.
In his spare time, Manson was an avid athlete, reader and music lover; he often listened to classical music and traveled the world following his daughter Anne’s conducting career. He also enjoyed spending time at his house in New Hampshire, chopping wood, gardening, landscaping, and fixing up the house. He was devoted to his children and grandchildren.
Manson is survived by his wife Mary; a son, Jay of Wellesley; two daughters, Anne and Liddy, both of Washington, D.C., and seven grandchildren. His death notice appeared in the Boston Globe on Dec. 26, 2009.