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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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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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Dickson, Samuel Henry (20 September 1798–31 March 1872), physician, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Samuel Dickson and Mary Neilson, Presbyterians of Scotch-Irish descent who had emigrated from Belfast, Ireland, before the American Revolution. Dickson received his early education from his father, a schoolteacher, and at private schools in Charleston. At the age of thirteen he entered Yale College as a sophomore and graduated with a B.A. in 1814 a few days before his sixteenth birthday....

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James, Thomas C. (31 August 1766–05 July 1835), physician and teacher, was born Thomas Chalkley James in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Abel James, a merchant, and Rebecca Chalkley. The son of devout Quaker parents, James was named after his maternal grandfather, Thomas Chalkley, an eminent Quaker writer and minister. His father, one of Philadelphia’s leading merchants, was a member of the Provincial Assembly, a friend of ...

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Middleton, William Shainline (07 January 1890–09 September 1975), medical educator and administrator, was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the son of Daniel Shephard Middleton, a grocer and wholesale confectioner, and Ann Sophia Shainline. He received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1911. While at Pennsylvania, he developed an interest in the history of his profession through contact with John G. Clark, professor of gynecology, and David Riesman, professor of clinical medicine and later professor of the history of medicine....

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Morton, Samuel George (26 January 1799–15 May 1851), physician and physical anthropologist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of George Morton, a merchant, and Jane Cummings. His father died soon after his birth, and his mother moved her family to West Farms, in Westchester County, New York, where Morton attended Quaker schools. On her remarriage in 1812 (to Thomas Rogers, an amateur mineralogist), the family returned to Philadelphia, where Morton continued to attend Quaker schools until 1815, when he was apprenticed to a merchant. His teachers—notably John Gummere of Burlington, New Jersey—and stepfather encouraged his continuing interest in things scientific, and in 1817 (at his mother’s death) Morton began studying medicine privately with Philadelphia physician ...

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Nott, Josiah Clark (31 March 1804–31 March 1873), physician and racial theorist, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Abraham Nott, a U.S. Congressman, and Angelica Mitchell. Nott was brought up and educated in Columbia and on his father’s plantation in Union District. He graduated from South Carolina College in 1824. While there, he was strongly influenced by its free-thinking president, ...