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Robert Fikes

surgeon and medical educator, was born Claude Harold Organ Jr. in Marshall, Texas, the second of three children born to Claude Harold Organ Sr., a postal worker, and Ottolena Pemberton, a schoolteacher. At age sixteen Claude Jr. graduated as valedictorian from Terrell High School in Denison, Texas, and followed his sister to Xavier University, a historically black Catholic school in New Orleans, from which he graduated cum laude in 1948.

Inspired by the achievements of the celebrated physician-inventor Charles Richard Drew and encouraged by two maternal uncles Organ chose to study medicine He was not allowed to enroll at the University of Texas because of his race His application to Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska however was accepted and he became only the second African American to be admitted into its medical school A focused hard driven student with a gift for public speaking Organ ...


Edward L. Lach and Frank O. Richards

surgeon, was born in Summerville, South Carolina, the son of William H. Sinkler Sr., a teacher, and a mother whose name is unrecorded. After completing his early education, Sinkler attended Haines Normal Institute in Augusta, Georgia, graduating in 1924. He then entered Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania, where he received an AB in 1928. Active in campus life and an excellent student, he decided on a career in medicine. He enrolled at the Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C., and continued to experience academic success. Elected a member of Kappa Pi honorary society, he received his MD degree in 1932.

After his graduation from Howard, Sinkler moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he successively completed one year as a junior intern (1932–1933), one year as an assistant resident (1933–1934 and two years as a resident surgeon an internship and residency ...


Robert C. Hayden

surgeon, hospital administrator, and civil rights leader, was born in La Grange, Georgia, the son of Ceah Ketcham Wright, a physician and clergyman, and Lula Tompkins. After his father's death in 1895, his mother married William Fletcher Penn, a physician who was the first African American to graduate from Yale University Medical School. Raised and educated in Atlanta, Wright received his elementary, secondary, and college education at Clark University in Atlanta, graduating in 1911 as valedictorian of his class. His stepfather was one of the guiding influences that led to his choice of medicine as a career.

Wright graduated from Harvard Medical School, cum laude and fourth in his class, in 1915 While in medical school he exhibited his willingness to take a strong stand against racial injustice when he successfully opposed a hospital policy that would have barred him but not ...