Sara Claudia Murray was born in Newton, Massachusetts, the daughter of a carriage repairman. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Munich, Germany, in 1908. She went on medical training at Tufts Medical School, graduating in 1921. While in Germany, she met her first husband, Sebastian Jordan, a lawyer; they married in 1913 and had a daughter before divorcing. In 1935, she married her second husband, Penfield Mower, a stockbroker. Dr. Sara Jordan was appointed director of gastroenterology at the Lahey Clinic in Boston, and was elected the first female president of the American Gastroenterology Association in 1942. She was the recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Citation in 1951 and received the Julius Friedenwald Medal in 1952 for her work in the field of gastroenterology. Encouraged by her patient Harold W. Ross, editor of The New Yorker, she and the magazine's food expert Sheila Hibben co-wrote the cookbook Good Food for Bad Stomachs (1951).