Separated at Birth, These Identical Twins Led Identical Lives and Reunited After 39 Years

Jim Lewis and Jim Springer are identical twins who were separated at birth and adopted by different families. They grew up without knowing each other, yet led nearly identical lives. They married and divorced women who had the same name, remarried women who had the same name, and both had sons whose names were also the same.

After 39 years, they finally reunited and discovered a series of astonishing similarities. This is their incredible story of how they reconnected and the surprising details of their lives.

Born as Twins but Separated

Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were born on August 19, 1939, in Piqua, Ohio. Their mother, an unwed 35-year-old immigrant, decided to put them up for adoption immediately after their birth. Jess and Lucille Lewis adopted Jim Lewis, while Ernest and Sarah Springer adopted Jim Springer. 

The adoption process took place at the Knoop Children’s Home in Troy, Ohio. Interestingly, both adoptive families named their new sons James, or Jim for short. The Springers were told that the other twin had died, while the Lewises were aware of the twin’s existence but had no further information.

40 Miles Apart but the Same Life

Despite living just 40 miles apart in Minnesota, the twins had no contact with each other growing up. Jim Lewis knew he had a twin brother, but Jim Springer was told his twin had died at birth. Both Jims shared a love for mathematics and woodwork as children and disliked spelling. They both had an adopted brother named Larry and owned a dog named Toy.

As adults, both Jims married a woman named Linda. After divorcing their first wives, they both remarried a woman named Betty. Each twin had a son named James Alan. Their lives continued to mirror each other in many ways, including their hobbies, interests, and even their vacation spots. Both twins enjoyed mechanical drawing, block lettering, and carpentry. They both vacationed at the same three-block-long beach near St. Petersburg, Florida and drove Chevrolets.

Both Were Chain Smokers

Jim Lewis worked as a security guard, while Jim Springer was a deputy sheriff. Both were chain smokers, suffered from migraines, and drove Chevrolets. They also shared hobbies like mechanical drawing, block lettering, and carpentry. Despite having different employers, their jobs were quite similar in nature. Both had law enforcement training and had worked part-time as deputy sheriffs. Their smoking and drinking patterns were nearly identical, and they even described their migraines using the same words.

Different Places but the Same Life

The twins discovered that they had led strikingly similar lives. They shared habits, such as biting their fingernails and using the same slang. Both had identical medical histories, including migraines and high blood pressure.

Their behaviors, mannerisms, and speech patterns were also remarkably alike. They even vacationed at the same beach in Florida, without knowing the other was there. Both enjoyed mathematics and woodwork in school but disliked spelling. They both had a brother named Larry and a dog named Toy.

Jim Springer said, “This is really blowing our minds. It’s weird. It’s downright spooky.” Jim Lewis added, “A lot of times, I’ll start to say something, and he’ll finish it!”

The Reunion

In 1979, Jim Lewis decided to search for his twin brother. He found Jim Springer’s contact information through court records and reached out to him. The twins reunited on February 9, 1979, at the age of 39. When they met for the first time, they immediately connected and were amazed by the similarities in their lives. Their first meeting was filled with laughter and astonishment as they compared notes on their parallel lives. The emotional reactions were intense, and they both felt an immediate bond.

Had to be Lab rats

Jim Lewis and Jim Springer became part of a study conducted by Dr. Thomas Bouchard at the University of Minnesota. They completed tests on personality, medical history, and brain waves. The results were astonishingly similar.

This study contributed to the ongoing debate about the influence of heredity versus environment on human behavior and health. Dr. Bouchard and his team were amazed by the results, noting that the twins’ scores were remarkably similar in all the tests. This study became a cornerstone in the research of twins reared apart, shedding light on the genetic basis of many aspects of human behavior and health.


Jim Lewis and Jim Springer’s story is a fascinating example of the power of genetics. Despite being separated for nearly four decades, their lives were incredibly similar. Their reunion has provided valuable insights into the nature versus nurture debate and has intrigued scientists and the public alike.

What do you think about these similarities? Share your thoughts and join the discussion on the nature versus nurture debate.

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