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D. Hayes Agnew. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B011345).

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Agnew, D. Hayes (24 November 1818–22 March 1892), surgeon and medical educator, was born David Hayes Agnew in Nobleville (Christiana), Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Agnew, a physician, and Agnes Noble. In 1833 Agnew, who grew up in a deeply religious Presbyterian household, entered Jefferson College at Cannonsburg, a stronghold of Presbyterianism in western Pennsylvania. In 1834 Agnew left Jefferson to attend Newark College, established in that year by the Delaware legislature, where his cousin, the Reverend John Holmes Agnew, was professor of languages. With other students at Newark he founded the Athenaeum Literary Society, but when his cousin left in 1835, objecting to a lottery that supported the college, Agnew left with him. After studying medicine at home under his father, Agnew entered the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1836—one of the youngest members of the class. Agnew received his M.D. in 1838. The title of his graduating thesis was “Medical Science and the Responsibility of Medical Character.”...

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Andrews, Ludie (1875–1943?), black nursing educator, was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, the daughter of a poor family. Little is known about Andrews’s parents or early years, though something clearly happened to inspire in her a desire to become a nurse. In 1901 Andrews applied to Spelman College’s MacVicar Hospital School of Nursing. On her application, she asked for financial assistance, explaining that her family could not help her pay. Her mother had a large family to support and “an old flicted husband,” who was not Andrews’s father. Andrews also said that she had been married but did not currently live with her husband and expected no support from him. Letters praising Andrews and talking about her “good moral character” that came from the pillars of Milledgeville society proved instrumental in securing Andrews’s admission....

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Antony, Milton (07 August 1789–19 September 1839), physician and educator, was born presumably in Henry County, Virginia, the son of James Antony, Sr., a military officer, and Ann Tate. At sixteen, he became an apprentice under physician Joel Abbott of Monticello, Georgia. At nineteen he enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine but, owing to economic circumstances, had to leave without a diploma. He married Nancy Godwin in 1809. They had eleven children....

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Margaret Arnstein. Right, with Secretary of HEW Oveta Culp Hobby. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (A018286).

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Arnstein, Margaret (27 October 1904–08 October 1972), public health nurse and educator, was born Margaret Gene Arnstein in New York City, the daughter of Leo Arnstein, a successful businessman, and Elsie Nathan, a volunteer social worker. She was exposed to public health nursing at an early age by her parents, both second-generation Jewish Americans of German heritage, who were involved with ...

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Augusta, Alexander Thomas (08 March 1825–21 December 1890), physician and medical educator, was born a free African American in Norfolk, Virginia, to parents whose names and occupations are unknown. Augusta received his early education from a Bishop Payne, defying a law that forbade African Americans to read or write. He continued to improve his reading skills while working as an apprentice to a barber. His interest in medicine led him to relocate to Baltimore, Maryland, where he studied with private tutors. Eventually, Augusta moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to serve an apprenticeship. Although he was denied entry to the University of Pennsylvania, Augusta caught the attention of Professor ...

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Mary E. Bass. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02453).

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Bass, Mary Elizabeth (05 April 1876–26 January 1956), physician, medical educator, and historian, was born in Carley, Mississippi, the daughter of Isaac Esau Bass and Mary Eliza Wilkes. She grew up in Marion County, where her father operated a gristmill and dry goods store. The 1890s economic depression bankrupted Isaac Bass, and the family moved to Lumberton, Mississippi, to invest in pecan orchards. The Basses were pious Baptists and active in civic concerns....

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Beck, Claude Schaeffer (08 November 1894–14 October 1971), surgeon and educator, was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, the son of Simon Beck and Martha Schaeffer. He attended public schools in Shamokin, graduating as valedictorian of his high school class in 1911. After graduating from Millersville State Normal School in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1914, he continued his undergraduate education at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, receiving his A.B. in 1916. Inspired by one of his professors, Richard Schiedt, to enter the field of medicine, Beck enrolled at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, completing his M.D. in 1921....

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John B. Beck. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B01427).

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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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Theodric Romeyn Beck. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02600).

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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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Bender, Lauretta (09 August 1897–04 January 1987), child psychiatrist, researcher, and educator, was born in Butte, Montana, the daughter of John Bender, a lawyer, and Katherine Irvine. Her father had moved to Montana to seek business opportunities with copper companies. Disappointed by failures, the Benders moved to Washington State and then to Hollywood, California. Bender repeated first grade three times because she suffered from a form of dyslexia. Her parents and teachers at first thought she was mentally defective but realized that she could learn by listening as well as by reading....

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Berry, George Packer (29 December 1898–05 October 1986), immunologist and medical educator, was born in Troy, New York, the son of the Reverend George Titus Berry and Carrie Electa Packer. Following preparatory education at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, he attended Princeton University, from which he received an A.B. with the highest honors in biology in 1921. After obtaining his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1925, Berry trained as a house officer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (1925–1927) and was afterwards assistant resident physician (1927–1928) and instructor in medicine at the Johns Hopkins Medical School (1928–1929). He joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 1929, where he was assistant and later associate; he also served as assistant resident physician at the hospital of the Rockefeller Institute. At Rockefeller he worked with such well-known investigators as ...

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Bigelow, Henry Jacob (11 March 1818–30 October 1890), surgeon and medical educator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jacob Bigelow, a physician, and Mary Scollay. After graduation from Harvard College in 1837, Bigelow studied medicine with his father, supplementing his preceptorship with attendance at medical lectures at Harvard and Dartmouth medical schools. Although Dr. ...

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Blackwell, Elizabeth (03 February 1821–31 May 1910), physician, reformer, and medical educator, was born in Bristol, England, daughter of Samuel Blackwell, a prosperous sugar refiner, and Hannah Lane. Her father’s interest in abolitionism and in “perfectionist reform,” the belief that through education and spiritual regeneration human beings could achieve a just society on earth, coupled with a series of financial reversals, prompted a move to the United States in 1832 when Elizabeth was eleven....

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Blackwell, Emily (08 October 1826–07 September 1910), physician and medical educator, was born in Bristol, England, the daughter of Samuel Blackwell, a prosperous sugar refiner, and Hannah Lane. Her father moved his family to the United States when Emily was five, primarily because of his interest in abolitionism, perfectionism, and reform. Although Samuel died in 1838, his children inherited his activist legacy: ...

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Bodley, Rachel Littler (07 December 1831–15 June 1888), botanist, chemist, and educator, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Anthony Prichard Bodley, a carpenter and patternmaker, and Rebecca Wilson Talbott, a teacher. An 1849 graduate in classical studies of Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati, Rachel Bodley taught there and served as preceptor in higher college studies until 1860, when she decided to pursue her interests in botany and chemistry. She began advanced studies in the natural sciences at the Polytechnic College in Philadelphia in 1860 and returned to Ohio in early 1862 to accept a position as professor of natural sciences at the Cincinnati Female Seminary....