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Abt, Isaac Arthur (18 December 1867–22 November 1955), pediatrician, was born in Wilmington, Illinois, to Levi Abt, the owner of a general store that doubled as a post office and later, in Chicago, a partner in Hart, Abt, and Marx, a men’s clothing manufacture, and Henrietta Hart. As a child Abt was indelibly affected by the agonizing deaths of other children from contagious diseases and horrible household accidents. Work in an apothecary in high school, where he ground, boiled, and filtered herbs and prepared solutions of various drugs, cemented his interest in medicine. In 1886 Abt began his formal premedical education at Johns Hopkins University. Because Johns Hopkins had no medical school until 1893, Abt left without a degree in 1889 and entered the Chicago Medical College, a department of Northwestern University, where he was a student of Frank Billings, one of Chicago’s leading practitioners of internal medicine. He graduated in 1891 and served a two-year internship at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital....

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Agnew, Cornelius Rea (08 August 1830–18 April 1888), ophthalmologist and sanitarian, was born in New York City, the son of William Agnew, a prominent merchant, and Elizabeth Thomson. Agnew entered Columbia College at age fifteen and graduated in 1849. He then studied medicine with J. Kearney Rogers, a surgeon and professor of anatomy at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and in 1852 earned his M.D. After interning at the New York Hospital, where he was also house surgeon, Agnew practiced for about a year in a village that later became Houghton, Michigan. In 1854 he was asked to be a surgeon at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and immediately went to Europe because his appointment was on condition that he first study there. Before returning to New York City in 1855, he studied diseases of the eye, ear, and skin as well as general medicine and surgery with some of the most renowned doctors in Dublin, London, and Paris. Back in New York Agnew took up his surgical duties at the Eye and Ear Infirmary while maintaining a general practice. In 1856 he married Mary Nash; they had eight children....

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Albright, Fuller (12 January 1900–08 December 1969), endocrinologist, was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of John Joseph Albright, an industrialist and philanthropist, and Susan Fuller. Fuller Albright came from a patrician background; he attended Nichols Day School, one of two schools founded by his father. He showed himself to be a well-rounded scholar and athlete, matriculating at Harvard College at age sixteen. He volunteered to join the U.S. Army during World War I and at officer’s training school contracted influenza, a likely forerunner of the postencephalitic Parkinsonism that progressively impaired his functioning in later years. He attended Harvard Medical School and began his residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the institution where he remained throughout his career except for two sabbatical years, one spent in Vienna and the other at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He married Claire Birge in 1933; they had two children....

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Allen, Edgar (02 May 1892–03 March 1943), endocrinologist and physiologist, was born in Canyon City, Colorado, the son of Asa Allen, a physician and Edith Day. In 1900 the family relocated to Providence, Rhode Island, where Allen grew up. After the death of his father, when Allen was in his early teens, his mother supported the family by working as a librarian and with the help of her children, who held a succession of odd jobs. Allen supported himself through Brown University by waiting on tables, tending furnaces, and teaching swimming among other things. Upon graduating in 1915, he entered the graduate school, from which he received an M.A. in biology with special emphasis on embryology in 1916, after which he continued on for his Ph.D. World War I intervened, however, and he left for France, where he served with a mobile unit of the Sanitary Corps. Allen married Marion Robins Pfeiffer, then a student at Pembroke, the women’s college of Brown, in 1918; the couple had two daughters....

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Astwood, Edwin Bennett (29 December 1909–17 February 1976), physiologist and endocrinologist, was born in Hamilton, Bermuda, the son of Earnest Millard Astwood, a jeweler, watchmaker, and optometrist, and Imogene Doe. Astwood spent his childhood and received his early education in Bermuda, where his family had a longstanding business interest. Because of his family’s religious ties, Astwood was sent to Washington Missionary College in Ohio. Deciding to study medicine after receiving his college degree in 1929, Astwood attended the Medical College of Evangelists at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California....

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Bailey, Pearce (22 July 1902–23 June 1976), neurologist and federal health science administrator, was born in New York City, the son of Pearce Bailey, a prominent neurologist, and Edith L. Black. Bailey’s choice of a career was doubtless influenced by the fact that his physician father was president of the American Neurological Association in 1913 and was a cofounder of the Neurological Institute at Columbia University in New York City. After graduation from Princeton University with an A.B. in 1924, Bailey pursued postgraduate studies at Columbia University, from which he received an M.A. in psychology in 1931. He then studied at the Université de Paris, where he earned a Ph.D. in psychology in 1933; took an honors course in chemistry at the University of London in 1934; and earned an M.D. at the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston in 1941....

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Barnes, William Harry (04 April 1887–15 June 1945), physician and otolaryngologist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of George W. Barnes, a menial laborer, and Eliza Webb. Young Barnes and his two sisters lived poverty-stricken lives on Lombard Street, a very poor area of the city. He decided at an early age to become a physician, a decision unheard of and regarded as preposterous in his neighborhood. His parents tried to discourage him from pursuing what to them seemed like an absolutely impossible dream for a poor black youth, hoping rather to get him to focus his attention on getting realistic employment. Determined, he walked ten miles every day to and from school and from his after-school work as a porter and messenger for jewelry shops. During summers he worked as a porter in hotels. Seeing people who lived a far different and more elegant lifestyle than his own galvanized him to work himself out of poverty. In 1908 he graduated from Philadelphia’s Central High School with a collegiate bachelor of arts degree and decided to compete for a four-year scholarship to medical school offered by the University of Pennsylvania. He spent the entire summer of 1908 in serious study, took the competitive examination, passed it, and became the first black person to ever win that scholarship. Four years later, in 1912, he received an M.D. and began an internship (1912–1913) at Douglass and Mercy hospitals in Philadelphia. Also in 1912 he married Mattie E. Thomas; they would have five children....

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Bausch, John Jacob (25 July 1830–14 February 1926), and Henry Lomb (24 November 1828–13 June 1908), a cabinetmaker turned optician, were business partners who founded Bausch and Lomb, an optical goods company, in Rochester, New York, in 1853. Bausch was one of seven children born in Gross Suessen, Württemberg, then a German monarchy, to George Bausch, a baker, and his wife, Annie Schmidt. His mother died when he was six. As a youth he was apprenticed to a maker of eyeglasses, and he worked for a time as a lens grinder in Bern, Switzerland. In 1850, seeking greater opportunity, he emigrated to the United States. The harrowing journey by sailing ship reportedly took forty‐nine days. After landing in New York City, he made his way to Buffalo, a city in upstate New York with a large German population. He arrived in the midst of a cholera epidemic, was unable to find work, and moved on to the closest city, Rochester, some seventy miles to the northeast....

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Harry Benjamin. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02717).

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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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Burnett, Charles Henry (28 May 1842–30 January 1902), otologist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Eli Seal Burnett and Hannah Kennedy Mustin. He received his early education in Philadelphia, and in 1860 he entered Yale College, graduating with an A.B. in 1864. While at Yale Burnett was an active participant in undergraduate social and academic organizations....

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Caldwell, Eugene Wilson (03 December 1870–20 June 1918), radiologist, was born in Savannah, Missouri, the son of William W. Caldwell, a prominent lawyer, and Camilla Kellogg. After Caldwell graduated from high school, the family moved to Concordia, Kansas, and at seventeen he enrolled at the University of Kansas in Lawrence to study electrical engineering. Beginning in his sophomore year, Caldwell worked as an assistant to physicist Lucien I. Blake, who requested Caldwell’s assistance for extended experiments in submarine telephony off the coast of Taunton, Massachusetts, during the summers....

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Chisolm, Julian John (16 April 1830–01 November 1903), physician, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Robert Trail Chisolm, a planter, and Harriet Emily Schutt. He was also known as John Julian Chisolm.

Prior to his formal training in medicine, Chisolm spent three years in the office of Elias Horlbeck, a prominent practitioner in Charleston. Following the award of his M.D. in 1850 from the Medical College of the State of South Carolina, Chisolm continued his studies in Paris, with emphasis on eye surgery. He returned to Europe in 1859 to visit hospitals in London and Paris. With the outbreak of war between Italy and Austria, he traveled to Milan to observe the treatment of the wounded from the battles at Magenta and Solferino....

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Cobb, Stanley (10 December 1887–25 February 1968), physician, neurologist, and psychiatrist, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of John Candler Cobb, a developer of Boston’s South Bay, and Leonore Smith of New York. A solitary child, handicapped by stammering, Cobb was tutored at home during his early years. He enjoyed observing birds and animals and developed a lifelong interest in natural history. His interest during his teenage years in pursuing a medical career received impetus from the comment of a distinguished surgeon, who on observing Cobb’s deftness in skinning a shrew, remarked, “With that ability you should go into medicine!” (White, p. 13)....

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Coit, Henry Leber (16 March 1854–12 March 1917), pediatrician, was born in Peapack, New Jersey, the son of John Summerfield Coit, a Methodist minister, and Ellen Neafie. He received his early education in Newark public schools. In 1876 he graduated class valedictorian from the College of Pharmacy in New York and then went to work as a chemist for Tarrant & Company in New York City. He worked as a chemist and taught at the College of Pharmacy while he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, from which he graduated with a degree in medicine in 1883....

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Corner, George Washington (12 December 1889–28 September 1981), anatomist, endocrinologist, and medical historian, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of George Washington Corner II, a merchant, and Florence Evans. He attended the Boys Latin School, from which he graduated with honors in six subjects, and entered the Johns Hopkins University in 1906. His original intention was to study languages. Within a year, however, he discovered he was more inclined to biological studies. In 1909 he graduated with an A.B. and entered the Johns Hopkins Medical School. Corner’s years at Johns Hopkins were those of the great founders, ...

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Dana, Charles Loomis (25 March 1852–12 December 1935), neurologist, was born in Woodstock, Vermont, the son of Charitie Scott Loomis and Charles Dana, a prosperous merchant. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1872, then studied medicine briefly at Dartmouth before moving to Washington, D.C. There he served for several years as secretary to Senator ...

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de Schweinitz, George Edmund (26 October 1858–22 August 1938), ophthalmologist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Edmund Alexander de Schweinitz, a bishop of the Moravian church, and Lydia Joanna de Tschirschky. De Schweinitz took his bachelor’s degree in 1876 from the Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where his father was president. He taught for the next two years at Nazareth Hall, a military academy in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, in order to finance his medical education and further prepared himself by reading medicine with a local physician. In 1878 de Schweinitz entered the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, from which he graduated with first honors in 1881....

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del Regato, Juan A. (01 March 1909–12 June 1999), oncologist, was born Juan Angel del Regato in Camagüey, Cuba, the son of Juan del Regato, an electrical engineer, and Damiana Manzano del Regato. After attending both public and private schools in his native city as well as in Nuevitas and Santa Clara, Cuba, and Mérida, Mexico, he entered the University of Havana in 1926 as a premedical student. In Havana del Regato supported himself by working as an extern, a medical photographer, and later as an X-ray technician, and when the university was forced to close in 1930 because of political unrest, he continued his education at the University of Paris with the financial support of the Cuban League of Cancer....

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Denny-Brown, Derek Ernest (01 June 1901–20 April 1981), neurologist, was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, the son of Charles Brown, who was in the insurance business, and Marian Denny. The couple hyphenated their names at the time of their marriage. Denny-Brown was raised and educated in New Zealand and attended medical school at Otago University in Dunedin from 1919 until 1924. After graduation he was appointed lecturer and demonstrator in anatomy at the school. Subsequently he traveled to England and received an appointment as Beit Memorial Fellow for Medical Research, permitting him to work for three years in the laboratory of Sir Charles S. Sherrington at Oxford. Denny-Brown’s work was seminal, demonstrating the slow motoneuron discharge of the stretch reflex, differences in the properties of red and white muscles, and the principle of the subliminal fringe. He received the degree of doctor of philosophy from Oxford in 1928. Denny-Brown then became a resident medical officer at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London, England, and subsequently was appointed as lecturer at the National Hospital from 1931 to 1939 and as registrar in neurology at Guy’s Hospital from 1931 to 1935. From 1935 until 1941 he was assistant physician, National Hospital, and Neurologist, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. As a clinical he studied the effects of removing small portions of brain tissue in monkeys and demonstrated that he could replicate disorders seen in humans with injury to these areas of the brain....