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Allen, Nathan (25 April 1813–01 January 1889), physician, social reformer, and public health advocate, was born in Princeton, Massachusetts, the son of Moses Allen and Mehitable Oliver, farmers. He spent his first seventeen years on the family farm, learning to work hard and to follow the Christian principles of his parents. He could not afford a higher education, but a friend in Leicester helped pay his tuition at Amherst Academy and then at Amherst College, where he matriculated in 1832, graduating in 1836....

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Alvarez, Walter Clement (22 July 1884–16 June 1978), physician, medical researcher, and medical columnist, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Luis Fernandez Alvarez, a physician, and Clementina Schuetze. When Alvarez was three, his family moved to Hawaii, where his father was a government physician in two isolated Oahu villages. Alvarez was eleven when his father established a Honolulu hospital for lepers and attempted to develop a serum to combat the disease. While assisting his father, Alvarez resolved to become a physician....

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Atlee, John Light (02 November 1799–01 October 1885), physician and surgeon, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Colonel William Pitt Atlee and Sarah Light. With the exception of the winter of 1813–1814, when he attended Gray and Wylie’s Academy in Philadelphia, he received his early schooling in Lancaster. In 1815 he began the study of medicine under Samuel Humes, continuing there while attending the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania; he received his M.D. in 1820. He returned to Lancaster to establish himself in practice and remained there for the rest of his life. In 1822 he married Sarah Howell Franklin, daughter of Judge Walter Franklin of Lancaster County; they had three children....

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Atlee, Washington Lemuel (22 February 1808–06 September 1878), physician and surgeon, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Colonel William Pitt Atlee and Sarah Light. After an unsuccessful apprenticeship in a dry-goods store, he went at age sixteen to study medicine with his brother, ...

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Aub, Joseph Charles (13 May 1890–30 December 1973), physician and medical researcher, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Samuel Aub and Clara Shohl. His father died when he was eleven. Having attended the Franklin School, a private preparatory school in Cincinnati, he went to Boston to attend Harvard College, where he received an A.B. in biology in 1911. He then went to Harvard Medical School and received the M.D. in 1916....

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Bache, Franklin (25 October 1792–19 March 1864), physician, chemist, and author, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Benjamin Franklin Bache, a noted anti-Federalist journalist, and Margaret Hartman Markoe Bache. Franklin Bache’s grandmother, Sarah Franklin Bache, was Benjamin Franklin’s daughter. He received a classical education in the academy of the Reverend Samuel D. Wylie and was awarded both his A.B. in 1810 and his M.D. in 1814 by the University of Pennsylvania. He studied medicine privately with ...

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Rebecca Tannenbaum

Bard, John (01 February 1716–30 March 1799), physician, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, the son of Peter Bard, a judge, and a woman whose maiden name was Marmion (first name unknown). When Bard’s father died prematurely, his mother was left to support her seven children with very few resources. Nevertheless, John received a grounding in the classics and deportment under a Scottish tutor named Annan....

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Bartholow, Roberts (28 November 1831–10 May 1904), physician, was born in New Windsor, Maryland, the son of Jeremiah Bartholow and Pleasants (maiden name unknown). He grew up in a well-to-do family and attended Calvert College (later New Windsor College), where he earned an A.B. in 1848, and the University of Maryland, receiving an M.D. in 1852. He then returned to Calvert College to practice medicine for two years and to teach chemistry. He took postgraduate medical courses in Baltimore in 1855 and 1856, then served as an army surgeon for four years in Utah, New Mexico, and Minnesota. The rigors of this tour of duty led to a variety of ailments, including the loss of most of his teeth. Although a southerner, he remained in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, serving as a medical examiner, advising Surgeon General ...

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Bartlett, Elisha (06 October 1804–19 July 1855), physician, was born at Smithfield, Rhode Island, the son of Otis Bartlett and Waite Buffum. In his youth Bartlett attended a Quaker school in New York; later he studied medicine under George Willard of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, John Green and B. F. Heywood of Worcester, Massachusetts, and Levi Wheaton of Providence, Rhode Island. Bartlett also attended medical lectures in Boston and Providence. In 1826 he received an M.D. degree from Brown University and then went to study medicine in Paris, where he remained, except for brief visits to Italy and England, about twelve months. On his return to the United States in 1827, Bartlett settled in Lowell, Massachusetts, where he married Elizabeth Slater in 1829; they had no children....

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Barton, Benjamin Smith (10 February 1766–19 December 1815), physician and botanist, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Barton, an Episcopalian minister, and Esther Rittenhouse, the sister of the prominent American astronomer David Rittenhouse. Barton’s parents died before he was fifteen. At the age of eighteen he began medical studies in Philadelphia with ...

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Baruch, Simon (29 July 1840–03 June 1921), physician and sanitarian, was born in Schwersenz, Prussia, to Polish Jews Bernhard Baruch and Theresa Gruen. His parents’ occupations are unknown. He attended the Royal Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium in Posen for about seven years before emigrating to the United States in 1855 and settling in Camden, South Carolina, in 1859. In Camden, he apprenticed himself to Drs. Thomas J. Workman and Lynch Horry Deas. Baruch attended the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston in 1860–1861 and completed his education at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond in 1862, after the South Carolina school closed at the outbreak of the Civil War. His college expenses were paid by Mannes Baum, a family friend from Schwersenz, who had sponsored his emigration in 1855. Baruch became a U.S. citizen on 19 January 1871....

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Bayley, Richard (1745–17 August 1801), physician and surgeon, was born in Fairfield, Connecticut. Little is known about his parents except that his mother was French, and his father was English. Indeed, it appears that little was known even to Bayley’s contemporaries. What is certain about Bayley is that he was an ambitious and innovative physician. After an early education that included French and the classics, he took an apprenticeship with the prestigious and fashionable New York physician John Charlton in 1766. Bayley studied with Charlton for three years; during that time he successfully courted and married his preceptor’s sister. They had children, but the precise number is uncertain. After completing his apprenticeship, Bayley wanted to put further polish on his medical education and in 1769 sailed to London to study with ...

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Beard, George Miller (08 May 1839–23 January 1883), physician, was born in Montville, Connecticut, the son of Spencer F. Beard, a Congregational minister, and Lucy A. Leonard. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1858 he enrolled for college at Yale, graduating in 1862. After a year of medical school in New Haven, he worked for two years as acting assistant surgeon in the West Gulf Squadron of the U.S. Navy, completing medical school at New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1866. During this same year he married Elizabeth Ann Alden of Westville, Connecticut, with whom he had at least one child....

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Beaumont, William (21 November 1785–25 April 1853), physician and physiologist, was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Beaumont and Lucretia Abel, farmers. Little is known about his early life, except that he attended a local common school and disliked farming. At age twenty-one he left home and settled several months later in Champlain, New York, a village near the Canadian border. For three years he taught school and read borrowed medical books in his spare time. In the fall of 1810 he moved to St. Albans, Vermont, to learn medicine as an apprentice to an established physician, Benjamin Chandler, still the most common means of acquiring a medical education. While living in the Chandler household and performing chores for the doctor, Beaumont learned by observing and doing. He rode to see patients with his preceptor, assisted in operations, compounded drugs, and occasionally filled in during Chandler’s absence....

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Beck, John Brodhead (18 September 1794–09 April 1851), medical professor, was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Caleb Beck, a lawyer, and Catharine Theresa Romeyn. Caleb Beck died in 1798, and Catharine Beck, powerfully committed to a thorough education for each of her five young sons, placed John in the home of her uncle, the Reverend John B. Romeyn, a Dutch Reformed theologian then living in Rhinebeck, New York. Under Romeyn’s tutelage, Beck studied classical languages....

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Beck, Theodric Romeyn (11 August 1791–19 November 1855), physician and professor, was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Caleb Beck, a lawyer, and Catharine Theresa Romeyn, the daughter of the Reverend Derick Romeyn, a founder of Union College. After Caleb died in 1798, Catharine Beck assumed responsibility for raising their five sons....

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Benjamin, Harry (12 January 1885–24 August 1986), physician, endocrinologist, and sex researcher, was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Julius Benjamin, a banker, and Bertha Hoffman. He became interested in human sexuality at the age of twenty, when he read August Forel’s ...

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Bigelow, Jacob (27 February 1787–10 January 1879), physician and botanist, was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, the son of Jacob Bigelow, a Congregationalist minister, and Elizabeth Wells. He grew up on the family farm, which provided the Bigelows with their primary means of support. During his early years, his father emphasized pragmatic concerns, disapproving of his attempts to learn Latin. He was an observer of nature and enjoyed tinkering on the farm, inventing miniature saw mills and better rat traps. In 1802, at age sixteen, he entered Harvard. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in 1806, he attended the medical lectures of ...

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Billings, John Shaw (12 April 1838–11 March 1913), army medical officer, library organizer, and public health activist, was born near Allensville, Indiana, the son of James Billings, a farmer and storekeeper, and Abby Shaw. Despite spotty secondary schooling, he ultimately went to Miami College (Ohio), where he earned his B.A. in 1857. He was awarded the M.D. by the Medical College of Ohio in 1860. Billings remained with the latter institution for a year as an anatomical demonstrator, but after the outbreak of the Civil War he joined the U.S. Army as a contract surgeon. In 1862 he was commissioned first lieutenant and assistant surgeon and went on to make army service his career. Also in 1862 he married Katharine Mary Stevens; they had five children....

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Blackburn, Luke Pryor (16 June 1816–14 September 1887), physician and governor of Kentucky, was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, the son of Edward Blackburn and Lavinia Bell, farmers. He graduated from Transylvania University’s medical department in 1835, married Ella Gist Boswell of Lexington a few months later, and practiced medicine in Woodford and adjoining counties....