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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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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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Diamond, Louis K. (11 May 1902–14 June 1999), pediatrician, was born in the Ukraine, Russian Empire, the son of Eleazor Diamond, occupation unknown, and Lena Klein Diamond. After emigrating to the United States with his parents at age two, he grew up in Manhattan. He entered Harvard University in 1919 and worked his way through school, always holding at least two jobs. Although he was initially interested in chemistry, the summers he spent working as a camp counselor in New England helped to foster an interest in the field of pediatrics. On graduating in 1923, he entered Harvard's medical school, receiving his M.D. in 1927....

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Eliot, Martha May (07 April 1891–14 February 1978), pediatrician, advocate for maternal and child health, and teacher, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the daughter of Christopher Rhodes Eliot, a Unitarian minister, and Mary Jackson May. Eliot attended the Prince School and Miss Windsor’s School in Boston, going on to Radcliffe College, where she majored in classical literature. Having developed an interest in medicine, she also completed premedical requirements, graduating in 1913. She then applied to Harvard Medical School, which did not then admit women; having made her attempt and her point, she entered Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1914, receiving the M.D. with honors in 1918. Following an internship in medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, she completed a residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (1919–1920)....

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Gesell, Arnold Lucius (21 June 1880–29 May 1961), psychologist and pediatrician, was born in Alma, Wisconsin, the son of Gerhard Gesell, a photographer, and Christine Giesen, a teacher. After graduating from Stevens Point State Normal School in 1899, he studied under Frederick Jackson Turner...

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Hess, Alfred Fabian (19 October 1875–05 December 1933), pediatrician and clinical investigator, was born in New York City, the son of Selmar Hess, a successful publisher, and Josephine Solomon. Hess graduated in 1897 from Harvard College and received his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1901. He did postgraduate clinical work at Mount Sinai Hospital until 1904. In 1904 he married Sara Straus, with whom he had two daughters. Hess and his wife traveled to Prague and Vienna, where he was a postgraduate student. Upon their return, Hess worked at the Rockefeller Institute and began a private practice, caring for children up to age five. He was associated with the laboratories of the Department of Health in New York City (1908–1920), the department of pathology of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (1920–1933), and, as clinical professor of pediatrics, with New York University and Bellevue Hospital Medical College (1915–1931)....

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Holt, Luther Emmett (04 March 1855–14 January 1924), pediatrician and medical educator, was born in Webster, New York, near Rochester, the son of Horace Holt and Sabrah Amelia Curtice, farmers. Educated at Webster Academy and Marion Academy, he entered the University of Rochester, then a small Baptist university, at the age of sixteen and graduated in 1875 seventh in his class. Following graduation Holt taught for a year at the Riverside Institute in Wellsville, New York. During this time he read independently in anatomy and physiology and decided to pursue a career in medicine. His earnings from teaching and contributions from his parents allowed him to enter the University of Buffalo Medical College in 1876. Within a year he began a student internship at the newly established Hospital for the Relief of the Ruptured and Crippled in New York City, under the noted physician and orthopedic surgeon Virgil Pendleton Gibney. During his internship he also continued his medical education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1880 he received his M.D. among the top ten of his class; he was awarded his choice of an internship at one of four leading hospitals. He chose Bellevue Hospital, where he worked for eighteen months in the bacteriology laboratory of ...

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Howland, John (03 February 1873–20 June 1926), pediatrician and medical educator, was born in New York City, the son of Henry E. Howland, a judge, and Sarah Louise Miller. He was a direct descendant of John Howland of the Mayflower Company. Howland attended some of the finest private schools in the United States, including the Cutler School, the King’s School of Stamford, Connecticut, and the Philips Exeter Academy, where he graduated in 1890. From Exeter, Howland went on to Yale University, where he was best known for his athletic prowess. At Yale he became the intercollegiate champion in tennis. He was also a member of the Yale crew team, editor of the ...

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Abraham Jacobi. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Jacobi, Abraham (06 May 1830–10 July 1919), physician, pediatrician, and medical educator, was born in Hartum, Westphalia, Prussia, the son of Eliezer Jacobi, a poor Jewish shopkeeper, and Julia Abel. Following Gymnasium in Mindin, he attended the Universities of Greifswald (1847–1848), Göttingen (1848–1849), and Bonn (1849–1851), from which he received his medical degree. In Berlin to take his state medical examinations in 1851, he was arrested for his part in the German revolution of 1848 and imprisoned for nearly two years. A close friend and fellow revolutionary, ...

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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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Sachs, Bernard (02 February 1858–08 February 1944), pediatric neurologist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Joseph Sachs, a teacher and boardingschool owner, and Sophia Baer. Sachs’s parents, who were Bavarian Jews, emigrated to Philadelphia in 1847, at a time of much revolutionary unrest in Europe. By 1859 the family had moved to New York. Sachs’s father sold the school when his health failed and moved the family back in 1867 to Germany, where he died two years later. Sachs’s mother died of diabetes three years after the family had returned in 1869 to New York. Here Sachs was raised by an aunt....

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Béla Schick Applying the Schick test to school children in New York City, 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93232).

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Schick, Béla (16 July 1877–06 December 1967), pediatrician and allergist, was born in Boglar, Hungary, the son of Jacob Schick, a grain merchant, and Johanna (or Joanna) Pichler. Although the family home was in Graz, Austria, Béla was born prematurely at the Hungarian home of a maternal uncle, a physician whose care saved the infant’s life....

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Schloss, Oscar Menderson (20 June 1882–13 October 1952), physician and pediatrician, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Hugo Schloss and Aurelia Menderson. He received an S.B. in 1902 from Alabama Polytechnic Institute and an M.D. in 1905 from Johns Hopkins Medical School. He married Rowena Farmer in October 1912; they had one son....

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Smith, Job Lewis (15 October 1827–09 June 1897), pediatrician, was born in Spafford Township, Onondaga County, New York, the son of Lewis Smith, a farmer and local politician, and Chloe Benson. He completed his secondary education at Homer (N.Y.) Academy, where he apparently developed an interest in botany, particularly the curative properties of plants. This interest, coupled with the influence of his older brother Stephen (who eventually became a prominent surgeon), led to his decision to pursue a medical career. After receiving his B.A. from Yale University in 1849, he studied medicine as an intern to Caleb Green of Homer and two doctors named Goodyear and Hyde, of Cortlandt, New York, while attending Buffalo Medical School. While a medical student, he attracted the attention of ...

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Spock, Benjamin (02 May 1903–15 March 1998), pediatrician and activist, was born Benjamin McLane Spock in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Benjamin Ives Spock, an affluent railway lawyer, and Mildred Louise Stoughton Spock. Like his younger brother and four sisters, Spock obtained much of his early education at home under the supervision of his mother. At the age of sixteen, he entered Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, a boarding school for boys, where he placed among the top 5 percent of his class and set a school record in the high jump. He enrolled at Yale University in 1921 and obtained his bachelor's degree in English (with a minor in history) four years later. During his summer vacations, he worked at a home for crippled children in Newington, Connecticut; his experiences there led him to pursue a medical career. As an undergraduate, he rowed on Yale's crew team, nicknamed “Eli,” which won a gold medal for the United States in the 1924 summer Olympics in Paris. He was also inducted as a member of the exclusive secret society Scroll and Key....

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David Y. Cooper and Michelle E. Osborn

Stokes, Joseph, Jr. (22 February 1896–09 March 1972), pediatrician, was born in Moorstown, New Jersey, the son of Joseph Stokes, Sr., a physician, and Mary Emlen. Born into a medical family, Stokes attended Haverford College, majored in English literature, and graduated in 1916. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania medical school, graduating in 1920. For two years he interned at the Massachusetts General Hospital, working under ...

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Trask, James Dowling (21 August 1890–24 May 1942), medical scientist and pediatrician, was born in Astoria, Long Island, New York, the son of James Dowling Trask, a physician, and Julia Norton Hartshorne. Trask grew up in a large, privileged family, living first in an elite community in Astoria and later in Highlands, New Jersey. James loved the outdoors and learned at an early age how to hunt, fish, and sail. After uneventful elementary years at the Craigie School in New York, at age fourteen he was sent to the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey to complete his college preparatory education....

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Van Ingen, Philip (31 July 1875–28 March 1953), pediatrician, was born in Washington, Connecticut, the son of E. H. Van Ingen, a businessman, and Mary L. McLane. He received an A.B. from Yale University in 1897 and an M.D. from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1901. From 1901 to 1904 he was house physician at Presbyterian and New York Foundling hospitals. In 1904–1905 he studied pediatrics in Vienna, Austria....