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Arnold, Richard Dennis (19 August 1808–10 July 1876), physician, was born in Savannah, Georgia, the son of Joseph Arnold and Eliza Dennis, occupations unknown. Despite hardships accompanying the deaths of both parents during childhood, Arnold, who had been an only child, received an excellent preliminary education and graduated with distinction from Princeton in 1826. He immediately began a medical apprenticeship under William R. Waring, a distinguished preceptor and member of an illustrious Charleston and Savannah family of physicians. After receiving his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1830, Arnold served for two years as a resident house officer in Philadelphia’s old Blockley Hospital before returning to Savannah where in 1833 he married Margaret Baugh Stirk. Their only child, Eleanor, born the next year, became the lifelong object of her father’s loving solicitude following her mother’s untimely death from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1850....

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Bacon, Georgeanna Muirson Woolsey (05 November 1833–27 January 1906), Civil War nurse and philanthropist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Charles William Woolsey, a merchant, and Jane Eliza Newton. Raised on fashionable Sheafe Street in Boston, “Georgy” attended Misses Murdock’s School. After her father’s death on a river steamer, the ...

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Delano, Jane Arminda (12 March 1858–15 April 1919), nurse and administrator, was born in Townsend, New York, the daughter of George Delano, a Union soldier who died of yellow fever in 1864, and Mary Ann Wright. Some sources list the year of her birth as 1862. Her mother later married Samuel Thomson, and Delano grew up in their home in Montour Falls, New York, where she attended a country school and Cook Academy. Delano taught in a country school for two terms; then, influenced by a friend preparing for missionary nursing in India, she enrolled in 1884 in the Bellevue Hospital Training School for Nurses in New York City, graduating in 1886....

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Douglass, William ( October 1681–21 October 1752), doctor, historian, and pioneer in colonial philanthropy, was born in Gifford, Scotland, the son of George Douglass, chamberlain to the marquis of Tweeddale, and Katherine Inglis. His father, a man of distinction in local affairs, was able to afford a fine education for his son. William earned his master’s degree in 1705 from Edinburgh University where, influenced by Dr. Archibald Pitcairne, he decided on a medical career. At the University of Leyden he studied under Dr. Herman Boerhaave and then earned his medical degree from the University of Utrecht in 1712. His medical dissertation, ...

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John Kearsley. Engraving, 1874. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B016144).

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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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Parrish, Joseph (11 November 1818–15 January 1891), physician, philanthropist, and pioneering advocate of the medical treatment of alcoholism, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Parrish, Sr., a prominent Quaker physician, and Susanna Cox. Educated at the Friends’ schools in Philadelphia and by private tutors, Parrish subsequently earned his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1844. Following graduation, he established himself in private practice in Burlington, New Jersey. There, in 1848, he founded and edited the ...

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Sackler, Arthur Mitchell (22 August 1913–26 May 1987), research psychiatrist, art collector, and philanthropist, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Isaac Sackler and Sophie (maiden name unknown). In the 1930s Sackler simultaneously studied medicine at New York University (NYU) and art history at NYU and the Cooper Union Art Institute. To fund his medical studies, he joined the William Douglas MacAdams medical advertising agency. Sackler earned his B.S. from NYU in 1933 and his M.D. from NYU in 1937. In 1935 he married Else Jorgensen; they had two children....

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Woolsey, Jane Stuart (07 February 1830–09 July 1891), nursing administrator, philanthropist, and author, was born aboard the ship Fanny en route to New York from Norwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Charles William Woolsey, a merchant, and Jane Eliza Newton. The family lived in England for two years with her paternal grandparents, then settled in Boston, where her father’s sugar-refining business continued to thrive and Jane and her sisters attended Misses Murdock’s School....