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Baker, Sara Josephine (15 November 1873–22 February 1945), physician and public health administrator, was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the daughter of Orlando Daniel Mosher Baker, an eminent lawyer, and Jenny Harwood Brown, one of the first Vassar College graduates. In her autobiography Baker described her father, who came from Quaker stock, as a sober, quiet man who “never uttered an unnecessary word,” while her mother, “gay, social and ambitious,” traced her ancestry back to Samuel Danforth, one of the founders of Harvard College. A happy child, Baker drew inspiration from both parents. Wishing to make it up to her father for not being born a boy, she became an enthusiastic baseball player and trout-fisher and read ...

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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....

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Boswell, Henry (26 March 1884–16 December 1957), physician and tuberculosis sanatorium administrator, was born in Hinton, Alabama, the son of John Boswell and Georgianna Neal. Nothing is known of his parents’ occupations. Boswell grew up in Choctaw County, in west central Alabama, attending grade school in Hinton and public high school in nearby Rock Springs. He moved north to Tennessee to seek a medical education at the University of Nashville, from which he received an M.D. in 1908. After graduation, he held a brief internship at the Nashville General Hospital before accepting a position as house surgeon at Providence Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, where he worked until late 1909....

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Bundesen, Herman Niels (27 April 1882–15 August 1960), physician, author, and politician, was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of a Danish father and a German mother whose identities are unknown. Brought to Chicago at an early age by his impoverished, widowed mother, he graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1909. Also in 1909 he married Rega Russell; they had six children....

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Cochran, John (01 September 1730–16 April 1807), physician and hospital director, was born in the area of Sadsbury (now Cochranville), Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Ulster emigrants James Cochran and Isabella Cochran. Cochran grew up in the rough community surrounding his father’s tavern, which was the center of all local activities. At age thirteen he attended the school in nearby New London opened recently by the Reverend ...

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Colden, Cadwallader (07 February 1689–20 September 1776), physician, natural scientist, and lieutenant governor of New York, was born of Scottish parents in Ireland, where his mother (name unknown) was visiting. His father was the Reverend Alexander Colden of Duns, Scotland. Colden graduated in 1705 from the University of Edinburgh. He then studied medicine in London but, lacking the money to establish a medical practice in Great Britain, migrated to Philadelphia in 1710. Welcomed by his mother’s sister Elizabeth Hill, Colden established himself as a merchant and physician. He returned to Scotland briefly in 1715, where in November of that year he married Alice Chrystie of Kelso, Scotland. After their marriage they returned to Philadelphia; the couple had eleven children. During a 1717 visit to New York, Colden was persuaded by Governor ...

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Copeland, Royal Samuel (07 November 1868–17 June 1938), physician and U.S. senator, was born near Dexter, Michigan, the son of Roscoe Pulaski Copeland and Frances Jane Holmes, farmers. Young Copeland was educated in the public schools in the vicinity of Dexter and graduated from Michigan State Normal College at Ypsilanti. Following a brief stint of public school teaching, he attended and, in 1889, graduated from the Medical College, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Specializing in ophthalmology and ontology, he practiced medicine in Bay City, Michigan, from 1890 to 1895, leaving that practice to serve as professor at the Homeopathic Medical College at the University of Michigan from 1895 to 1908. Copeland exhibited certain political skills in his profession, rising to the presidency of the American Ophthalmological and Ontological Association. He extended his talents beyond his profession, becoming the Republican mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1901 and president of its board of education. He was also active in the Methodist church, serving as a delegate to the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in London in 1900 and three times as a delegate to the Methodist General Conference. In 1908 he married Frances Spalding; they had two children....

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Galt, John Minson, II (19 March 1819–18 May 1862), physician, was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, the son of Alexander D. Galt, a and Mary Dorothea Galt (his parents were third cousins). He was the namesake of, and later successor to, his paternal grandfather, John Minson Galt I, who in 1793 was appointed attending physician to the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, in Williamsburg. This institution, renamed the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in 1841 (later the Eastern State Hospital), was the first public hospital in the United States founded exclusively for the care of the mentally ill....

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Gardiner, Silvester (29 June 1708–08 August 1786), physician and land magnate, was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, the son of William Gardiner and Abigail Remington, members of a prominent New England family. Frail and bookish as a child, he roamed the nearby fields and learned the medicinal value of local plants. His brother-in-law, the Anglican missionary Rev. ...

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Gray, John Purdue (06 August 1825–29 November 1886), physician, alienist, and asylum superintendent, was born in Half Moon, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter D. Gray, a Methodist minister and farmer, and Elizabeth Purdue. He received his early education at Bellefonte Academy and Dickinson College, from which he graduated with an A.M. in 1846. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1849 and immediately becoming resident physician at Blockley Hospital in Philadelphia....

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Hatfield, Henry Drury (15 September 1875–23 October 1962), physician and politician, was born at Mate Creek, Logan County, West Virginia, the son of Elias “Good ’Lias” Hatfield, a farmer and landowner, and Elizabeth Chafin. He was the nephew of feudist William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield...

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Hunt, Ezra Mundy (04 January 1830–01 July 1894), physician, sanitarian, and public health official, was born in Metuchen, New Jersey, the son of Holloway Whitfield Hunt, a Presbyterian minister, and Henrietta Mundy. He graduated from Princeton University in 1849 and enrolled in New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia University). While in medical school he was apprenticed to Abraham Coles of Newark, New Jersey, to gain practical experience. Hunt graduated from medical school with an M.D. in 1852. In 1853 he married Emma Louisa Ayres of Rahway, New Jersey; they had five children, two of whom died at an early age. Three years after his wife’s death in 1867 he married Emma Reeves of Alloway, New Jersey; the couple had one child....

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Kearsley, John (1684–11 January 1772), physician, politician, and philanthropist, was baptized in the village of Greatham, County Durham, England. His father was John Kearsley, an Anglican minister; his mother’s name is unknown. Kearsley’s father provided two of his sons with a medical education; young John studied in London without earning a degree. For a time he practiced medicine in England, but in 1711 he emigrated and settled in Philadelphia....

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Leib, Michael (08 January 1760–28 December 1822), physician and politician, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Johann George Leib, a German immigrant of modest means, and Margaretha Dorothea Liebheit. After a common school education he studied medicine under Benjamin Rush. In 1780, during the American Revolution, Leib was commissioned as a surgeon in the Philadelphia militia. Following the Revolution he entered medical practice in Philadelphia and soon became known as one of the leading physicians of the city. He was one of the incorporators of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1789 and was on the staffs of the Philadelphia Dispensary and the Philadelphia Almshouse and Hospital. During the great yellow fever epidemic of 1793 he was among the physicians coordinating medical efforts, and he supervised the Bush Hill Hospital, where many victims of the epidemic were treated....

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MacNeven, William James (21 March 1763–12 July 1841), physician, professor, and Irish-American nationalist, was born on a small estate in Ballynahowne, County Galway, Ireland, the son of James MacNeven and Rosa Dolphin. William’s mother died when he was young, and he and his three brothers were raised by their aunt. At age ten or eleven William was sent to Prague to live with his uncle Baron William O’Kelley MacNeven, a court physician to Empress Maria Theresa. Following a classical education, William attended university in Prague and went on to study medicine at the University of Vienna, from which he graduated in 1783. In 1784 MacNeven returned to Dublin, where he established a medical practice....

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McClurg, James (1746–09 July 1823), physician and delegate to the Federal Convention of 1787, was born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, the son of Walter McClurg, a British naval surgeon (mother’s name unknown). His father had been sent to Hampton, Virginia, to open a hospital for inoculation against smallpox. Since the practice of inoculation had been introduced into the American colonies only a few years earlier, this was probably the first hospital of its kind in America....

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Mitchill, Samuel Latham (20 August 1764–07 September 1831), physician, scientist, and legislator, was born in Hempstead, Long Island, New York, the son of Robert Mitchill, a farmer and overseer of highways, and Mary Latham. He learned the fundamentals of medicine from his uncle Dr. Samuel Latham, who also underwrote the cost of his nephew’s education. Mitchill served as a medical apprentice for Dr. ...

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Rush, Benjamin (04 January 1746–19 April 1813), physician, professor of chemistry and of medicine, and social reformer, was born in Byberry Township, Pennsylvania, thirteen miles northeast of Philadelphia, the son of John Rush, a farmer and gunsmith, and Susanna Hall Harvey. John Rush died when Benjamin was five years old. His mother ran a grocery store to support the family. She sent Benjamin at age eight to live with an uncle by marriage, the Reverend Dr. ...