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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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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....

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Daniel Drake. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B07403).

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Drake, Daniel (20 October 1785–05 November 1852), physician, naturalist, and educator, was born near Bound Brook, New Jersey, the son of Isaac Drake and Elizabeth Shotwell, farmers. The family moved west in 1788 to Mays Lick, Kentucky. At the age of fifteen Drake was apprenticed to Dr. ...

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Folin, Otto (04 April 1867–25 October 1934), biochemist and professor, was born Otto Knut Olof Folin in Åseda (Småland), Sweden, the son of Nils Magnus Folin, a tanner, and Eva Olofsdotter, a midwife. Having completed elementary schooling and because of a stagnant economy, Otto, at age fifteen, was sent to join his older brother, Axel, in Stillwater, Minnesota. Determined to learn English, pay his way, and get an education, Folin graduated from the local high school at age twenty-one, and then in 1892 earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota where he was managing editor of the university’s journal, the ...

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Gies, William John (21 February 1872–20 May 1956), biological chemist and patron of modern dentistry, was born in Reisterstown, Maryland, the son of John Gies, Jr. and Ophelia Letitia Ensminger, occupations unknown. His father died when he was two years old, whereupon his mother took him and his infant brother to the small Pennsylvania Dutch town of Manheim, where her father edited and published the local newspaper. At age seven, Gies started delivering the ...

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Keeler, Clyde Edgar (11 April 1900–22 April 1994), biologist, educator, and cultural historian, was born in Marion, Ohio, the son of Anthony Sylvester Keeler, a watchmaker and teacher, and Amanda Jane Dumm Keeler, a teacher. Growing up in Marion, with nearby farmlands, Keeler had early opportunities—on his milk and paper routes—to observe nature, and he attributed the launching of his biomedical career to childhood observations of field mice. Keeler graduated from Denison University (Granville, Ohio) in 1923 with a zoology major and enough credits for a master’s degree; he lacked only the research component, which he completed in 1925 at Harvard. Cited as “the school artist” in the yearbook, he was Phi Beta Kappa, president of the Zoology Club, and captain of the cross country team. He was also a member of the Student Army Training Corps (for World War I) and, after the war, the Reserve Officers Training Corps; he eventually rose to the rank of major in the U.S. Army Officers Reserve Corps....

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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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Larsell, Olof (13 March 1886–08 April 1964), medical researcher and educator, was born in Rättvik, Sweden, the son of John Larsell, a railroad worker, and Anna Anderson. Moving to the United States in 1888, Larsell’s father established himself in Tacoma, Washington, and sent for his family in 1891. Larsell attended the Edison School in Tacoma and, for high school, the Vashon Military Academy. He enrolled at McMinnville (now Linfield) College in Oregon in 1907 and graduated in 1910 with a B.S. in zoology. While in college he met Leo Dorcas Fleming, whom he married in June 1911; they had three sons. After his graduation, Larsell was an instructor of biology at Linfield College from 1910 to 1913....

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Locke, John (19 February 1792–10 July 1856), educator, scientist, and inventor, was born in Lempster, New Hampshire, the son of Samuel Barron Locke, a farmer and miller, and Hannah Russell. He was raised in Maine on his family’s settlement, now known as Locke Mills. In 1815 Locke studied chemistry and natural philosophy with ...

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Louise Hanson Marshall and Michelle E. Osborn

Magoun, Horace Winchell (23 June 1907–06 March 1991), neuroscientist and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Roy Winchell Magoun, an Episcopal clergyman, and Minnie Sheida. Nicknamed “Tid” by his baby sister, he grew up mostly in Rhode Island, where during the First World War his father founded and directed the Seaman’s Church Institute. After graduating in 1929 from Rhode Island State College, Magoun did graduate work at Syracuse University, New York (M.S., 1931), and Northwestern University Medical School, from which he received a Ph.D. in anatomy in 1934. He married Jeanette Jackson in 1931; they had three children....

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Sir William Osler. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Osler, Sir William (12 July 1849–29 December 1919), physician, educator, and historian, was born in Bond Head, Ontario, Canada, the son of Featherstone Lake Osler, an Anglican priest, and Ellen Free Pickton, both of Cornwall, England. William’s father left Britain’s Royal Navy for an evangelical calling in the backwoods of early nineteenth-century Ontario. In 1837 the Oslers came to their new home in Bond Head, forty miles north of Toronto. The young Osler was a proficient scholar, caught in the common mid-nineteenth-century dichotomy between science and church. Ultimately, another Anglican priest, the Reverend W. A. Johnson, settled the matter by nourishing Osler’s interest in natural science. Microscopy replaced the ministry. As early as 1869, Osler’s first published work analyzed microscopic forms in a pond near his home....

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Rains, George Washington (1817–21 March 1898), soldier, scientist, engineer, and educator, was born in Craven County, North Carolina, the son of Gabriel M. Rains and Hester Ambrose. Rains graduated third in his 1842 class of the U.S. Military Academy. He was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers but transferred to the artillery. In 1844 Rains was detached to West Point as assistant professor of chemistry, geology, and mineralogy. He served with distinction in the war with Mexico and was breveted captain for gallantry at the battles of Contreras and Churubusco and major for gallantry at Chapultepec. Following postings in the South and Northeast, he resigned his commission in 1856, the same year he married Francis Josephine Ramsdell. The number of their children, if any, is unknown. He served as president of the Washington Iron Works and then the Highland Iron Works, both in Newburgh, New York. Rains joined the ranks of soldier-inventors produced by West Point, when in 1860–1861 he patented several inventions relating to steam engines and boilers....

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Sedgwick, William Thompson (29 December 1855–21 January 1921), biologist and educator, was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, the son of William Sedgwick and Anne Thompson. His father died when Sedgwick was eight, but despite attendant obstacles he completed his schooling. He graduated from Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School in 1877 and immediately enrolled in the Yale School of Medicine. Two years later he accepted a fellowship to study physiology at Johns Hopkins University under ...

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Short, Charles Wilkins (06 October 1794–07 March 1863), physician, botanist, and medical educator, was born at “Greenfield,” Woodford County, Kentucky, the son of Peyton Short, a Kentucky state senator and gentleman farmer, and Maria Symmes. When he was age six, his mother died, and he was sent to Lexington, Kentucky, to live with paternal relatives, at which time he may have begun his schooling at Joshua Fry’s school in Danville, Kentucky. Short’s father married Jane Henry Churchill, a widow, in November 1802, and Charles and his brother and sister returned home. Short received a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in 1810 and then began an apprenticeship in medicine under his uncle, Dr. ...

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Wilkerson, Vernon Alexander (21 August 1901–24 May 1968), biochemist, educator, and physician, was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents’ names and occupations are unknown. After attending Sumner High School in Kansas City (1913–1917), he entered the University of Kansas, where he majored in chemistry and graduated with an A.B. in 1921. He stayed an additional year at Kansas before attending the medical school of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where he earned the M.D. in 1925. During his medical studies, he listed his place of residence as Council Bluffs, Iowa. Next came a year of internship at Kansas City General Hospital No. 2, followed by a one-year appointment as house surgeon at Wheatley-Provident Hospital, also in Kansas City. These hospitals, located in a racially segregated city, served the African-American community exclusively and provided one of the few means available anywhere in the country for black medical graduates to acquire postgraduate training....