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Andersen, Dorothy Hansine (15 May 1901–03 March 1963), pediatrician and pathologist, was born in Asheville, North Carolina, the only child of Hans Peter Andersen, a secretary for the YMCA, and Mary Louise Mason. Andersen’s father died in 1914, leaving her alone to care for her invalid mother. The two moved to Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, where Louise Andersen died six years later. At the age of nineteen Andersen, with no close relatives, became fully responsible for her own upbringing....

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Cone, Claribel (14 November 1864–20 September 1929), and Etta Cone (30 November 1870–31 August 1949), art collectors, were born in Jonesboro, Tennessee, the daughters of Herman Cone, a grocery business owner, and Helen Guggenheimer. The Cone family moved in 1871 to Baltimore, where Herman Cone opened a wholesale grocery business. The business flourished, and the Cones moved to a fashionable neighborhood and engaged in the social life of a large German-Jewish community. By the late 1880s the two eldest sons, ...

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See Cone, Claribel

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De Witt, Lydia Maria (01 February 1859–10 March 1928), pathologist, was born in Flint, Michigan, the daughter of Oscar Adams, an attorney, and Elizabeth Walton. Her mother died when Lydia was five, and she was brought up by her father’s second wife, the sister of his first wife....

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Dick, Gladys (18 December 1881–21 August 1963), medical researcher and physician, was born Gladys Rowena Henry in Pawnee City, Nebraska, the daughter of William Chester Henry, a house and grain dealer, and Azelia Henrietta Edson Henry. Her family relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, following her birth, where she attended local public schools before entering the University of Nebraska. After earning her B.S. in 1900, she had hoped to attend medical school, but faced her mother's stern opposition to the idea, which few women at that time pursued. She spent the next two years teaching high school biology in nearby Kearney, Nebraska, and took additional graduate course work at her alma mater. After finally gaining parental approval, she left Nebraska and journeyed east to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine....

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Frantz, Virginia Kneeland (13 November 1896–23 August 1967), surgeon and medical pathologist, was born in New York City, the daughter of Yale Kneeland, a wheat merchant, and Anna Ilsley Ball. She attended Brearley School in New York City and entered Bryn Mawr College in 1914, intending to prepare for a career in medicine. Toward that end she was encouraged by college president ...

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Friend, Charlotte (11 March 1921–07 January 1987), immunologist and cell biologist, was born in New York City, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants Morris Friend, a businessman, and Cecelia Wolpin, a pharmacist. Friend’s father died when she was three years old, and her mother was left with four young children to raise during the depression. Friend took advantage of the many free cultural and educational advantages that New York offered and developed a wide-ranging, lifelong interest in art, music, and science. Following graduation from Hunter College of the City of New York in 1944, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as an officer in hematology laboratories in California and Florida. When World War II ended, she enrolled as a graduate student at Yale University with the financial assistance of the G.I. Bill. She received her Ph.D. in bacteriology in 1950....

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Hurdon, Elizabeth (28 January 1868–29 January 1941), gynecologist and pathologist, was born in Bodmin, England, the daughter of John Hurdon, a linen and woolen draper, and Ann Coom. Soon after her birth, the Hurdons and their two daughters moved to Canada. Not much is known about Elizabeth’s early years, but by age thirteen she was attending the Wesleyan Ladies College in Hamilton, Ontario, where in 1886 she received a degree in literature. In 1895 she received a medical degree from the Trinity College of the University of Toronto....

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L’Esperance, Elise Strang ( January 1878?–21 January 1959), physician and clinic founder, was born in Yorktown, New York, the daughter of Albert Strang, a physician, and Kate Depew. Her father had longed for a son to follow in his profession, but after the birth of three daughters he prophesied that Elise was the one who “will be my doctor.” Elise graduated from St. Agnes Episcopal School in Albany, New York, before enrolling in courses at the Woman’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1896. She greatly admired women colleagues and educators who taught her to have persistence, dedication, and courage. Although a bout with diphtheria prevented her graduation in 1899, she received her M.D. in 1900. She married David A. L’Esperance, Jr., a lawyer, that year; they had no children....

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Lancefield, Rebecca Craighill (05 January 1895–03 March 1981), medical bacteriologist, was born in Fort Wadsworth, New York, the daughter of Colonel William E. Craighill, an officer in the U.S. Army Engineering Corps, and Mary Wortly Montague Byrum. She attended Wellesley College, graduating in 1916, and then taught for a year at a girls’ school in Vermont....

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Smith, Margaret Gladys (10 February 1896–01 May 1970), pathologist, was born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, the daughter of William Smith, a machine shop foreman; Smith’s mother’s name was not recorded in any of her archival papers.

Smith completed a bachelor’s degree at Mount Holyoke College in 1918, then studied medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She earned a medical degree in 1922 and remained at Johns Hopkins initially as an assistant in pathology. During the 1920s she was promoted to instructor and associate in pathology on the Johns Hopkins faculty....

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South, Lillian Herreld (31 January 1879–14 September 1966), physician, epidemiologist, and bacteriologist, was born near Bowling Green, Kentucky, the daughter of J. F. South, a physician, and Martha Bell Moore. She graduated from E. B. Potter College in Bowling Green in 1897. South studied at the Paterson (N.J.) General Hospital School of Nursing, earning an R.N. degree in 1899. She then enrolled at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, graduating with an M.D. in 1904. From 1906 to 1910 she practiced medicine in Bowling Green with partners ...

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Tunnicliff, Ruth May (01 May 1876–22 September 1946), physician and bacteriologist, was born in Macomb, Illinois, the daughter of Damon George Tunnicliff, a lawyer, and Sarah Alice Bacon. Her mother had attended the Illinois Women’s College and Vassar. Ruth Tunnicliff prepared for college at home with the aid of tutors. Before entering Vassar she spent a year at the Kenwood Institute in Chicago. After receiving her A.B. at Vassar in 1896, she took premedical studies at the University of Chicago from 1898 to 1900. She then entered the Northwestern University Women’s Medical College in 1900. When that college was unexpectedly closed in 1902, she took her final medical year at Chicago’s Rush Medical College, obtaining her M.D. in 1903. During her medical studies Tunnicliff lived at Hull-House, an innovative center for social services....

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Williams, Anna Wessels (17 March 1863–20 November 1954), public-health physician and bacteriologist, was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the daughter of William Williams, a private-school teacher, and Jane Van Saun. She studied at home with her father and at the State Street Public School, where her father served as a trustee. Williams was excited by science when she first used a “wonderful microscope” at age twelve. She graduated from the New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton in 1883. She then taught for two years, earning money for medical school. Williams apparently was motivated to become a physician when her sister Millie almost died in childbirth (some sources suggest her sister suffered from diphtheria), and she vowed to discover an effective treatment. At first her religiously devout mother objected to her career goal, but Williams won her approval when she suggested that she would apply medicine to missionary work....

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Wollstein, Martha (21 November 1868–30 September 1939), pediatric pathologist, was born in New York City, the daughter of Louis Wollstein and Minna Cohn, German-born Jews. She entered the Woman’s Medical College of New York Infirmary in 1886 and received her medical degree in 1889. Drs. ...