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William Darlington. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B05853).


Darlington, William (28 April 1782–23 April 1863), physician, botanist, and author, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward Darlington, a farmer who also found time to serve in the Pennsylvania legislature, and Hannah Townsend. Wanting to escape the drudgery of farm work that had restricted his schooling to a few winter months each year, at age eighteen Darlington persuaded his father to pay the necessary fees for his apprenticeship to study medicine with John Vaughan in Wilmington, Delaware. In return, his father required that he give up his inheritance of a share of the family farm....


Lee, Charles Alfred (03 March 1801–14 February 1872), physician and author, was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Lee and Elizabeth Brown, farmers. Lee attended Williams College, from which he received a B.A. in 1822 and later an M.A. After studying medicine under his brother-in-law, Luther Ticknor, he received an M.D. from the Berkshire Medical College in 1825. While a student at Berkshire, he served at times as a demonstrator in anatomy and an instructor in botany....


Thomas, Lewis (25 November 1913–03 December 1993), physician, biologist, administrator, and writer, was born in Flushing, New York, the son of Joseph Simon Thomas, M.D., and Grace Peck, a nurse. In his memoir, The Youngest Science: Notes of a Medicine Watcher (1983), Thomas describes accompanying his father on house calls as a boy, a habit that proved decisive in his choice of career. After going to school in Flushing and completing his preparatory education at the McBurney School in Manhattan (1927–1929), Thomas attended Princeton University (1929–1933) and Harvard Medical School, graduating cum laude in 1937. He held a variety of posts before his commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. On 1 January 1941 he married Beryl Dawson in New York; the couple had three daughters. During World War II Thomas was assigned to a Naval Medical Research Unit at the Rockefeller Institute in New York; he was also stationed in Guam and Okinawa (1944–1945), where he conducted research in virology....