John Fannin Young Paine, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and first dean of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, was born on his father's plantation near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on August 16, 1840. After preliminary education in Louisiana and Mississippi, he began medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of the Civil War, he transferred to the Tulane University School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1861. He served as a Confederate surgeon at Fort Morgan (Mobile), Alabama. After the war Paine practiced in Mobile until he moved to Ennis, Texas, in 1874 or 1875. In 1876 he moved to Galveston, where he engaged in general practice and taught obstetrics and gynecology at Texas Medical College and Hospital. He served as dean of that school until it closed in 1881. Paine then moved to New Orleans and taught at Tulane but returned to Galveston in 1886 to help reorganize the Texas Medical College and Hospital. He served as dean and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at this revived school from 1888 to 1891, when he became UTMB's first dean and professor of obstetrics and gynecology. He served as dean for six years and as a professor until 1910.
Paine commanded enormous regard among students and fellow physicians, enabled, in part, by his six-foot-four-inch height and his 300 pounds. Always the Southern gentleman, "Daddy Paine" often wore a cream-colored beaver hat, an ascot tie, a Prince Albert coat, and striped trousers. Colleagues elected him the twentieth president of the Texas State Medical Association (1888–89). After the Civil War ended, Paine married Bertha Estes of Mobile. After retiring from UTMB in 1910, he moved to Charleston, West Virginia, where he died on October 2, 1912.