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Abt, Isaac Arthur (18 December 1867–22 November 1955), pediatrician, was born in Wilmington, Illinois, to Levi Abt, the owner of a general store that doubled as a post office and later, in Chicago, a partner in Hart, Abt, and Marx, a men’s clothing manufacture, and Henrietta Hart. As a child Abt was indelibly affected by the agonizing deaths of other children from contagious diseases and horrible household accidents. Work in an apothecary in high school, where he ground, boiled, and filtered herbs and prepared solutions of various drugs, cemented his interest in medicine. In 1886 Abt began his formal premedical education at Johns Hopkins University. Because Johns Hopkins had no medical school until 1893, Abt left without a degree in 1889 and entered the Chicago Medical College, a department of Northwestern University, where he was a student of Frank Billings, one of Chicago’s leading practitioners of internal medicine. He graduated in 1891 and served a two-year internship at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital....

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Alexander, Hattie Elizabeth (05 April 1901–24 June 1968), microbiologist and pediatrician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of William Bain Alexander, a merchant, and Elsie May Townsend, both of Scottish ancestry. The family remained in Baltimore throughout Alexander’s relatively happy and comfortable childhood. She attended Baltimore’s Western High School for Girls prior to enrolling in Goucher College, to which she won a partial scholarship. While at Goucher, her enthusiasm for a variety of sports—hockey, baseball, basketball—exceeded that for academics, and she was an unimpressive student. Nevertheless, she exhibited marked, though largely unapplied, skill in Dr. Jessie King’s bacteriology class, and fellow students in the Goucher yearbook declared that “ambition fires her; hygiene claims her; kindness portrays her.”...

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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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Apgar, Virginia (07 June 1909–07 August 1974), physician, anesthesiologist, and teratologist, was born in Westfield, New Jersey, the daughter of Charles Emory Apgar, an insurance executive, and Helen May Clarke. She had two brothers, one of whom died of tuberculosis at age three. Apgar’s father conducted amateur experiments in electricity and astronomy, which stimulated her interest in science and medicine. After schooling in Westfield, Apgar attended Mount Holyoke College, obtaining her A.B. degree in 1929. She completed her M.D. at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, in 1933. Then followed two brilliant years in surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, but the department chairman, Alan Whipple, discouraged her from surgical practice. He cited the depression and financial insecurities experienced by his previous female trainees and urged her instead to consider anesthesia, not yet a medical specialty but often done by women nurse practitioners. Apgar spent six months in anesthesia training at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and six months at Bellevue Hospital in New York City before returning to Columbia-Presbyterian in 1938 as director of the Division of Anesthesiology; she was the first woman to head a medical division in that institution....

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Coit, Henry Leber (16 March 1854–12 March 1917), pediatrician, was born in Peapack, New Jersey, the son of John Summerfield Coit, a Methodist minister, and Ellen Neafie. He received his early education in Newark public schools. In 1876 he graduated class valedictorian from the College of Pharmacy in New York and then went to work as a chemist for Tarrant & Company in New York City. He worked as a chemist and taught at the College of Pharmacy while he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, from which he graduated with a degree in medicine in 1883....

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Diamond, Louis K. (11 May 1902–14 June 1999), pediatrician, was born in the Ukraine, Russian Empire, the son of Eleazor Diamond, occupation unknown, and Lena Klein Diamond. After emigrating to the United States with his parents at age two, he grew up in Manhattan. He entered Harvard University in 1919 and worked his way through school, always holding at least two jobs. Although he was initially interested in chemistry, the summers he spent working as a camp counselor in New England helped to foster an interest in the field of pediatrics. On graduating in 1923, he entered Harvard's medical school, receiving his M.D. in 1927....

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Eliot, Martha May (07 April 1891–14 February 1978), pediatrician, advocate for maternal and child health, and teacher, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Christopher Rhodes Eliot, a Unitarian minister, and Mary Jackson May. Eliot attended the Prince School and Miss Windsor’s School in Boston, going on to Radcliffe College, where she majored in classical literature. Having developed an interest in medicine, she also completed premedical requirements, graduating in 1913. She then applied to Harvard Medical School, which did not then admit women; having made her attempt and her point, she entered Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1914, receiving the M.D. with honors in 1918. Following an internship in medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, she completed a residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (1919–1920)....

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Fraser, Sarah Loguen (29 January 1850–09 April 1933), a pioneering African American physician specializing in pediatrics, was born in Syracuse, New York, as Marinda Sarah Loguen, the daughter of Caroline Storum and the Reverend Jermain Wesley Loguen, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Both parents were lifelong activists in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States, and they established their family home as a “station” (safe house) in the underground railroad, harboring some 1,500 African Americans who passed through Syracuse en route to asylum in Canada during the decades preceding the Civil War. The U.S. Fugitive Slave Act, which criminalized any failure to report knowledge of the whereabouts of an escaped slave, became federal law the year of Sarah Loguen's birth. This posed new threats to the entire family and especially to Reverend Loguen, who had escaped from slavery in his youth....

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Gesell, Arnold Lucius (21 June 1880–29 May 1961), psychologist and pediatrician, was born in Alma, Wisconsin, the son of Gerhard Gesell, a photographer, and Christine Giesen, a teacher. After graduating from Stevens Point State Normal School in 1899, he studied under Frederick Jackson Turner...

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Hess, Alfred Fabian (19 October 1875–05 December 1933), pediatrician and clinical investigator, was born in New York City, the son of Selmar Hess, a successful publisher, and Josephine Solomon. Hess graduated in 1897 from Harvard College and received his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1901. He did postgraduate clinical work at Mount Sinai Hospital until 1904. In 1904 he married Sara Straus, with whom he had two daughters. Hess and his wife traveled to Prague and Vienna, where he was a postgraduate student. Upon their return, Hess worked at the Rockefeller Institute and began a private practice, caring for children up to age five. He was associated with the laboratories of the Department of Health in New York City (1908–1920), the department of pathology of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (1920–1933), and, as clinical professor of pediatrics, with New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College (1915–1931)....

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Holt, Luther Emmett (04 March 1855–14 January 1924), pediatrician and medical educator, was born in Webster, New York, near Rochester, the son of Horace Holt and Sabrah Amelia Curtice, farmers. Educated at Webster Academy and Marion Academy, he entered the University of Rochester, then a small Baptist university, at the age of sixteen and graduated in 1875 seventh in his class. Following graduation Holt taught for a year at the Riverside Institute in Wellsville, New York. During this time he read independently in anatomy and physiology and decided to pursue a career in medicine. His earnings from teaching and contributions from his parents allowed him to enter the University of Buffalo Medical College in 1876. Within a year he began a student internship at the newly established Hospital for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled in New York City, under the noted physician and orthopedic surgeon Virgil Pendleton Gibney. During his internship he also continued his medical education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1880 he received his M.D. among the top ten of his class; he was awarded his choice of an internship at one of four leading hospitals. He chose Bellevue Hospital, where he worked for eighteen months in the bacteriology laboratory of ...

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Howland, John (03 February 1873–20 June 1926), pediatrician and medical educator, was born in New York City, the son of Henry E. Howland, a judge, and Sarah Louise Miller. He was a direct descendant of John Howland of the Mayflower Company. Howland attended some of the finest private schools in the United States, including the Cutler School, the King’s School of Stamford, Connecticut, and the Philips Exeter Academy, where he graduated in 1890. From Exeter, Howland went on to Yale University, where he was best known for his athletic prowess. At Yale he became the intercollegiate champion in tennis. He was also a member of the Yale crew team, editor of the ...

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Jackson, Edith Banfield (02 January 1895–05 June 1977), pediatrician and psychoanalyst, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the daughter of William Sharpless Jackson, a railroad executive, mining entrepreneur and banker, and Helen Fiske Banfield, an 1879 graduate of Vassar College. Jackson graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Vassar College in 1916 and from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1921. She held an internship at University of Iowa Hospital in 1921–1922 and a pediatric internship at Bellevue Hospital in 1922–1923. After four years on a rickets research project at the Yale School of Medicine, Jackson began a residency in psychiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1928. Between 1930 and 1936 she completed a training analysis with Sigmund Freud and participated in seminars at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. Upon leaving Vienna, Jackson provided Anna Freud with the seed money to establish the world’s first day-care center for infants from impoverished families. The “Edith Jackson Krippe” became the prototype for the Hampstead Nurseries for refugee children that Anna Freud directed in England during World War II....

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Abraham Jacobi. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Jacobi, Abraham (06 May 1830–10 July 1919), physician, pediatrician, and medical educator, was born in Hartum, Westphalia, Prussia, the son of Eliezer Jacobi, a poor Jewish shopkeeper, and Julia Abel. Following Gymnasium in Mindin, he attended the Universities of Greifswald (1847–1848), Göttingen (1848–1849), and Bonn (1849–1851), from which he received his medical degree. In Berlin to take his state medical examinations in 1851, he was arrested for his part in the German revolution of 1848 and imprisoned for nearly two years. A close friend and fellow revolutionary, ...

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Kenyon, Josephine Hemenway (10 May 1880–10 January 1965), pediatrician and health educator, was born in Auburn, New York, the daughter of Charles Carroll Hemenway, a Presbyterian minister, and Ida Eliza Shackelford. When Kenyon was eleven, the family moved to Glasgow, Missouri, where her father accepted a position as president of Pritchett College. Later she studied at Pritchett, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1898 and a master’s degree the following year....

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Koplik, Henry (28 October 1858–30 April 1927), pediatrician, educator, and microbiologist, was born in New York City, the son of Abraham S. Koplik and Rosalie K. Prager. Koplik received his undergraduate education at the City College of New York, where he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in 1878. In 1881 Koplik completed his medical school studies at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in the City of New York. The following year, 1882, he served his internship at the Bellevue Hospital of New York City....

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Sachs, Bernard (02 February 1858–08 February 1944), pediatric neurologist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Joseph Sachs, a teacher and boardingschool owner, and Sophia Baer. Sachs’s parents, who were Bavarian Jews, emigrated to Philadelphia in 1847, at a time of much revolutionary unrest in Europe. By 1859 the family had moved to New York. Sachs’s father sold the school when his health failed and moved the family back in 1867 to Germany, where he died two years later. Sachs’s mother died of diabetes three years after the family had returned in 1869 to New York. Here Sachs was raised by an aunt....

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Béla Schick Applying the Schick test to school children in New York City, 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93232).

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Schick, Béla (16 July 1877–06 December 1967), pediatrician and allergist, was born in Boglar, Hungary, the son of Jacob Schick, a grain merchant, and Johanna (or Joanna) Pichler. Although the family home was in Graz, Austria, Béla was born prematurely at the Hungarian home of a maternal uncle, a physician whose care saved the infant’s life....