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Billy Scott

physician, otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist), inventor, and administrator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of George W. Barnes, a laborer, and Eliza Webb Barnes and his two sisters lived poverty stricken lives on Lombard Street in a very poor area of the city Barnes decided at an early age to become a physician a decision unheard of and regarded in his neighborhood as preposterous His parents tried to discourage him from pursuing what to them seemed an impossible dream for a poor black youth hoping rather that he would focus on finding realistic employment Nevertheless determined Barnes 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 those who lived a far different and more elegant life than his own inspired ...

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Pamela C. Edwards

doctor of ophthalmology, inventor, medical researcher, and advocate for social equity in health care, was born in Harlem, New York, the daughter of Rupert and Gladys Bath. A one-time merchant marine and global traveler, her father emigrated from Trinidad, taking a position as the first black motorman for the New York City subways, and her mother, a descendant of African slaves and Cherokee Indians, Bath tells her biographers, “was a housewife who worked as a domestic after we entered middle school. … She scrubbed floors so I could go to medical school” (Davidson). A brilliant student, Bath attended New York's Charles Evans Hughes High School and in 1959 was selected for a National Science Foundation summer program at Yeshiva University. Working on a cancer research team, Bath demonstrated the future potential of her work in science and medicine and was recognized as one of Mademoiselle magazine s Merit Award ...

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Elizabeth D. Schafer

physician, was born in Louisburg, North Carolina, the son of the Reverend Joel Branche and Hanna Shaw. He attended the Mary Potter Academy in Oxford, North Carolina. The Branche home was located near this Presbyterian school; George Branche enjoyed playing on the campus, and he acquired his early education there.

After his high school graduation in 1913, Branche enrolled at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he participated as an athlete. He graduated in 1917 and served in World War I as a master sergeant. After the armistice he focused on medicine as a career. Branche graduated from the Boston University Medical School in 1923, and he was an intern at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital.

While Branche was in medical school federal officials sought a site to establish a hospital for black veterans African American World War I veterans suffered from treatment at inferior hospitals or were neglected ...

Article

Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Nathaniel Calloway was a man of many talents. He started his career as a chemist, graduating from Iowa State University (then College) in 1930 and earning his Ph.D. in 1933. After publishing influential research and teaching at both Tuskegee Institute and Fisk University, Calloway decided to enter medical school. In 1940 he enrolled at the University of Chicago, but, denied the opportunity to treat white patients, he transferred to the University of Illinois, from which he received his M.D. in 1943.

After World War II (1939–1945)—during which he conducted research on recuperation theories—Calloway worked at Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, ultimately becoming its director. In 1949 he founded an all-black group practice, and throughout the next fifteen years he combined his medical work with civil rights activism. From 1955 to 1960 Calloway served as president of the Chicago ...

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Deborah I. Levine

physician, scientist, professor, public health official, and first African American surgeon general of the United States, was born Minnie Lee Jones in the small town of Schaal, Arkansas, the oldest of eight children of Curtis Jones, a sharecropper, and Haller Reed Jones. As a child, Jones performed the hard labor demanded of Arkansas farmers and their families, and she often led her younger siblings in their work on the small cotton farm. The family home was an unpainted three-room shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity, and there was no hospital or physician for miles around. Jones watched her mother give birth seven times without medical assistance; the only memory she has of a visit to a physician was when her father took a gravely ill younger brother twelve miles by mule to the nearest doctor.

Haller Jones was determined that her children would ...

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Richlyn Faye Goddard

physician and aviation pioneer, was born in Nassau, Bahamas, one of six children of Horatio A. Forsythe, a civil engineer, and Maude Bynloss. During his childhood, the family lived in Jamaica, West Indies, where Forsythe received his early education. When he arrived in America in 1912 to attend Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, his original intention was to study architecture, but as a student of George Washington Carver, he switched his focus to a career in medicine. After graduating from Tuskegee, he attended McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Canada, and in 1930 he earned his medical degree as Doctor of Public Health. Forsythe performed his postgraduate work at Providence Hospital in Chicago, Seaview Sanatorium in New York, and Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia. He moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he began to concentrate on flying airplanes, a dream he had harbored since childhood.

Forsythe took ...

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Miriam Sawyer

Forsythe, Albert Edward (25 February 1897–04 May 1986), aviator and physician, was born in Nassau, the Bahamas, the son of Horatio Alexander Forsythe, a civil engineer, and Lillian Maud Byndloss Forsythe. When he was three, the family moved to Jamaica. His mother died of pneumonia while Forsythe was a child. His father soon remarried, eventually fathering thirteen children. The family was comfortably middle class, employing several servants. A gifted student, Forsythe attended the Titchfield School, where he excelled in mathematics. When he was fourteen, the headmaster of the school recommended that he be sent to England to complete his education. His father preferred to send him to Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, an institution founded by Booker T. Washington to educate African Americans.

Arriving in the United States Forsythe was met in Miami by relatives who cautioned him about segregation in the South Blacks could not use ...

Article

Kenneth R. Manning

physician, physiologist, and educator, was born near Port Gibson, Mississippi, the son of Edward William Hawthorne, a minister, and Charlotte Bernice Killian, a teacher. As a child Edward endured a bout with polio at the age of seven and the untimely death of his father. After graduating from Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., he entered Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and later transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a BS in biology in 1941 and an MD in 1946. As an intern at Freedmen's Hospital in 1946–1947 he developed an interest in cardiac research. He went on to earn an MS in 1949 and a PhD in 1951, both in physiology, at the University of Illinois, Chicago. In 1948 he married Eula Roberts; they had five children.

Hawthorne's appointment in 1951 to the faculty of ...

Article

Bridget Brereton

physician and pharmacologist, was born in Cocoye Village, Trinidad, to Lewis Albert Maloney, a building contractor and grocery chain operator, and Estelle Evetta (Bonas) Maloney, a needlepoint teacher to young women. Maloney has the distinction of being the first African American professor of pharmacology in the nation and the second person of African descent to earn both a medical degree and a doctorate of philosophy in the United States.

Arnold began his career planning to become a druggist in Trinidad. He studied at Naparima College in Trinidad, a school affiliated with Cambridge University in England, where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1909 Maloney had expectations of becoming a druggist in Trinadad however after receiving an unexpected letter from his uncle suggesting greater opportunities existed in the United States he migrated to New York to study medicine During this same year while attending Lincoln ...

Article

Elizabeth D. Schafer

aerospace surgeon, was born at Fort Washikie, Wyoming, the son of Vance Hunter Marchbanks Sr., an army cavalry captain, and Mattie (maiden name unknown). Marchbanks Jr. was influenced by the military career of his father, who was a veteran of both the Spanish-American War and World War I. A childhood operation inspired Marchbanks's passion for medicine, after which he operated on cherries in his backyard, opening them up, removing the stones, and sewing shut the incision.

Marchbanks encountered discrimination when he enrolled at the University of Arizona in 1927. Not allowed to live in the dormitories or participate in normal student activities, he lived in an off-campus boardinghouse. He ate at the railroad station restaurant, where he was expected to enter through the back door and was harassed; he often found cockroaches in his soup. Marchbanks graduated in 1931 and was accepted at the Howard University ...

Article

Audra J. Wolfe

geneticist and physician, was born in Newburgh, New York, the son of Robert Fulton and Henrietta Frances (Judd) Murray. Murray stayed close to home for most of his education, completing a BS with a pre-med concentration from Union College in Schenectady, New York, in 1953, before proceeding to the University of Rochester School of Medicine for his MD in 1958. Murray married Isobel Ann Parks on 26 August 1956, while still in medical school. Their marriage produced four children: Colin Charles, Robert Fulton III, Suzanne Frances, and Dianne Akwe.

After completing medical school, Murray and his wife moved to Denver, Colorado, where he began a long career in clinical medicine. He completed an internship at Denver General Hospital (1958–1959) before moving on to the University of Colorado Medical Center for a residency in internal medicine (1959–1962 For ...

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Andrea Patterson

proctologist and author, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the grandson of a former slave from North Carolina, and the son of Thomas Henry Peyton, one of the first black policemen in New York City, and Louisa Jones, of African American and Mohawk Indian ancestry. Peyton attended a manual training high school in Brooklyn and continued his studies at the Long Island College of Medicine from where he graduated as the only black student of his class in 1921. In 1923 he married Gladys (maiden name unknown) and the couple had three children, Roy (b. 1925), Carter (b. 1928), and Joyce (b. 1935 Peyton lived during a time when black doctors experienced severe professional discrimination in training and practice Yet like Peyton their commitment to medicine and civil rights bound them together in a ceaseless effort to advance scientific knowledge provide better educational ...

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Kenneth R. Manning

physician, microbiologist, and public health specialist, was born on a farm near Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Fred Poindexter and Luvenia Gilberta Clarke, tenant farmers. After attending the normal (teacher training) department of Swift Memorial College, a Presbyterian school for blacks in Rogersville, Tennessee (1916–1920), he entered Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and graduated with an AB cum laude in 1924. Also in 1924 he married Ruth Viola Grier, with whom he would have one child, a daughter. He attended Dartmouth Medical School for two years before earning an MD at Harvard University in 1929, an AM in Bacteriology at Columbia University in 1930, a PhD in Bacteriology and Parasitology at Columbia in 1932, and an MPH from Columbia in 1937.

Poindexter had hoped to proceed directly into public health fieldwork in 1929 following his graduation from Harvard ...

Article

Kenneth R. Manning

biochemist, educator, and physician, was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents' names and occupations are unknown. After attending Sumner High School in Kansas City from 1913 to 1917, he entered the University of Kansas, where he majored in chemistry and graduated with an AB in 1921. He stayed an additional year at Kansas before attending the medical school of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where he earned an MD in 1925 During his medical studies he listed his place of residence as Council Bluffs Iowa Next came a year of internship at Kansas City General Hospital No 2 followed by a one year appointment as house surgeon at Wheatley Provident Hospital also in Kansas City These hospitals located in a racially segregated city served the African American community exclusively and provided one of the few means ...

Article

Kenneth R. Manning

Wilkerson, Vernon Alexander (21 August 1901–24 May 1968), biochemist, educator, and physician was born in Fort Scott Kansas and grew up in Kansas City Missouri His parents names and occupations are unknown After attending Sumner High School in Kansas City 1913 1917 he entered the University of Kansas where he majored in chemistry and graduated with an A B in 1921 He stayed an additional year at Kansas before attending the medical school of the University of Iowa Iowa City where he earned the M D in 1925 During his medical studies he listed his place of residence as Council Bluffs Iowa Next came a year of internship at Kansas City General Hospital No 2 followed by a one year appointment as house surgeon at Wheatley Provident Hospital also in Kansas City These hospitals located in a racially segregated city served the African American community exclusively and ...