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Dalyce Newby

surgeon, was born in Toronto, Upper Canada (now Ontario), the son of Wilson Ruffin Abbott, a businessman and properties investor, and Mary Ellen Toyer. The Abbotts had arrived in Toronto around 1835, coming from Mobile, Alabama, via New Orleans and New York. Wilson Abbott became one of the wealthiest African Canadians in Toronto. Anderson received his primary education in Canadian public and private schools. Wilson Abbott moved his family to the Elgin Settlement in 1850, providing his children with a classical education at the famed Buxton Mission School. Anderson Abbott, a member of the school's first graduating class, continued his studies at-the Toronto Academy, where he was one of only three African Americans. From 1856 to 1858 he attended the preparatory department at Oberlin College, afterward returning to Toronto to begin his medical training.

At age twenty three Abbott graduated from the Toronto School of ...

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Theodore Cohen

was born on 20 January 1908 in Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, to Gonzalo Aguirre Beltrán, a medical doctor, and Pilar Beltrán Luchirí, the descendant of Ignacio María Luchichí, a well-known writer in the surrounding Papaloapan basin of southern Mexico. Though born into an elite family with no African ancestry, Aguirre Beltrán had a major impact on how we understand the African heritage of Mexico. In addition, he was interested in social issues, had an affinity for anarchism, and read scholars such as Georg Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx. In 1921 he moved to Mexico City to continue his preparatory studies, and in 1927 he enrolled in medical school at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico). Having finished his thesis, “El metabolism basal en lasnefrosis” (Elemental Metabolism in Nephrosis), he graduated in 1931. He married Judith Avendaño, and they had five children.

After finishing medical school Aguirre ...

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James McCarthy

Scottish explorer, naturalist, surgeon, and philologist who opened up the Niger region to European trade and influence, was born in Kirkwall, Scotland, the eldest son of a Royal Navy captain, John Baikie. He was educated for a time at Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney, but mainly privately, in company with his cousins. He gained a medical degree from Edinburgh University, where he also developed his interest in natural history. In 1848, together with Robert Heddie, he wrote the first part of a published study of the natural history of Orkney, Historia naturalis Orcadensis. In the same year he joined the Royal Navy as an assistant surgeon, serving on no less than five different ships in the Mediterranean before being appointed in the same capacity to Haslar Hospital, Portsmouth, from 1851 to 1854. It was from here in 1854 that through the patronage of the influential Sir Roderick ...

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María Teresa Cortés Zavala

(who during the regime change in Puerto Rico in 1898 led the Republican Party), was born on 7 September or 27 July 1857 in the town of Bayamón, located in the north central area of the island of Puerto Rico. Celso Barbosa was the eldest son of Hermógenes Barbosa, a bricklayer, and Carmen Alcalá. The Barbosa family was part of a wave of immigration to Puerto Rico in the first half of the nineteenth century. Hermógenes Barbosa was descended from a group of Dominican exiles who left Santo Domingo during the Franco-Haitian occupation. They were black people who were artisans, farmers, and ranchers. His mother, although born on the island, belonged to a second generation of Venezuelans living in Puerto Rico who witnessed their economic situation diminish, and were compelled to express their reformist position at a time of economic and political crisis.

The Barbosa Alcalá family was part of ...

Article

South African surgeon who carried out the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant, was born into an impoverished Afrikaner family at Beaufort West, South Africa, on 8 November 1922. His father, the Reverend Adam Hendrik Barnard, was a clergyman of the Dutch Reformed Church for Coloured, or mixed-race, people, and his mother was Maria Elisabeth de Swart. He was educated at Beaufort West High School before training as a doctor at the University of Cape Town’s medical school, where he graduated MB, ChB, in 1945. Having done his internship at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, he worked for a short time as a rural general practitioner in Ceres, in the western Cape, before returning to Cape Town to become senior medical officer at City Hospital and then registrar at Groote Schuur Hospital. In 1953 he gained his MD for his dissertation The Treatment of Tuberculosis Meningitis Later ...

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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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Félix Ojeda Reyes

was born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, on 8 April 1827 to Felipe Betances Ponce, of Dominican origin, and María del Carmen Alacán, of Puerto Rican origin, the well-off owners of a sugar plantation called Hacienda Carmen. On 21 April he was baptized and registered by church officials in the Book of Mulattoes. Shortly after his mother’s death on 10 February 1837, Betances’s father sent him to Grisolles, near Toulouse, in the southwest of France. Under the care of the Prévost-Cavallieri family, Betances, always an excellent student, studied at the Collége Royal in Toulouse. In 1848 the year of the revolutions that toppled absolutist supremacy in Europe he entered the College of Medicine at the University of Paris At that historic moment Betances commenced a lifetime of political engagement and activity by participating in the antimonarchist revolution of 24 February which established the Second French Republic Although his ...

Article

Caryn E. Neumann

surgeon and Tennessee legislator, was born to a single mother, Edna Brown, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When she was five months old, her mother placed her in the Troy Orphanage. In 1932Brown's mother reclaimed her daughter, but the two clashed and Brown ran away from home. She was subsequently taken in by Samuel Wesley and Lola Redmon. Brown obtained a job as a mother's helper in the W. F. Jarrett home and graduated from high school, possibly Troy High School, about 1937.

Several factors inspired Brown to become a surgeon. As a child, she entered the hospital for the removal of her tonsils and adenoids. She loved the special attention that she received and wanted to duplicate that experience for other patients. Later, in her teens, she attended a performance by the African American opera star Marian Anderson. Impressed by Anderson's greatness and graciousness, Brown ...

Article

Geoffrey Roper

French surgeon and medical administrator in Egypt, was born at Grenoble on 5 November 1793, the son of Louis Clot and Marie Bérard. He studied medicine in Montpellier and at the Hospice de la Charité in Marseilles, where he subsequently practiced as a surgeon. There he was recruited in December 1824 by agents of Muhammad ʿAli, who invited him to join the group of European technocrats assisting in the modernization of Egypt in the 1820s. Of these he was probably the one who left the greatest and most lasting legacy of improvement and reform in his particular sphere of operation. His writings also made a contribution to the knowledge of contemporary Egypt in nineteenth-century Europe.

On 11 February 1825 Clot took up his position as surgeon in chief and in 1827 established the first modern medical school in Egypt at Abu Zaʿbal where European medical knowledge and practice ...

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on 16 June 1919, the only son of four children born to Pearl (Hollingsworth) Cordice, a native of Shreveport, Lousiana, and John W.V. Cordice Sr., a public health physician for the United States Public Health Service. He had three sisters: Marion, Sarah, and Victoria. John Cordice Sr., a native of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent received his medical degree from Howard University, and was active in the struggle to stem the 1918 flu epidemic in North Carolina. The family moved to Durham, North Carolina, in 1925 when Dr. John Cordice, Sr. was appointed to the staff of that city’s Lincoln hospital.

Having graduated from high school a year early, Cordice followed his father in political activism for the party of Abraham Lincoln, and helped form the Republican Club in Durham in 1940. In 1943 Cordice moved to New York to attend New York University and then ...

Article

physician and the first African American graduate of Yale, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to West Indian native John William Creed (a custodian and caterer at Yale College) and Vashti Duplex Creed (the daughter of the Revolutionary War hero Prince Duplex, who had been born a slave). John and Vashti Creed's wedding had been officiated by Reverend Leonard Bacon, a professor of theology at Yale and an abolitionist. Cortlandt Creed was named after the Yale alumnus Cortlandt Van Rensselaer, scion of an old New York Dutch family who was a Presbyterian minister among freed and enslaved African Americans in Virginia and a member of the American Colonization Society, whom it is likely that John Creed knew as a student. Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed was the first African American to take a degree from Yale, earning the M.D. in 1857 He served as a military surgeon ...

Article

Shari Rudavsky

Austin Maurice Curtis was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of Alexander Curtis and Eleanora Patilla Smith. One of nine children, Curtis attended the Raleigh public schools and went north to college, graduating from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1888. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University in 1891 and became the first intern hired by Chicago's fledgling Provident Hospital. The first voluntary black hospital, Provident opened the doors of its two-story frame building a few months before Curtis started his internship. Provident Hospital boasted an interracial medical staff as well as the first training school for black nurses. There Curtis formed alliances with two individuals who would influence the rest of his life. The first was Daniel Hale Williams a renowned black physician and one of the founders of Provident Hospital who hired Curtis for the Provident internship The second was seventeen ...

Article

Shari Rudavsky

physician and surgeon, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of Alexander Curtis and Eleanora Patilla Smith. One of nine children, Curtis attended the Raleigh public schools and went north to college, graduating from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1888. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University in 1891 and became the first intern hired by Chicago's fledgling Provident Hospital. The first voluntary black hospital, Provident opened the doors of its two-story frame building a few months before Curtis started his internship. Provident Hospital boasted an interracial medical staff as well as the first training school for black nurses. There Curtis formed alliances with two individuals who would influence the rest of his life. The first was Daniel Hale Williams a renowned black physician and one of the founders of Provident Hospital who hired Curtis for the Provident internship The second was seventeen year old ...

Article

William K. Beatty

Ulysses Grant Dailey was born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, the son of Tony Hanna Dailey, a bartender, and Missouri Johnson, a teacher. His parents were then living in Fort Worth, Texas; Mrs. Dailey had returned to her mother's home to give birth. The Daileys visited Chicago, Illinois, several times, and Grant (as he preferred to be called) had some of his early schooling there. He was also educated in Donaldsonville, in the preparatory academy at Straight College (later Dillard University) in New Orleans, and at the Fort Worth High School. Brought up by his mother (the couple separated after a few years) in an atmosphere of books and music, Grant became a piano player.

While a student in Fort Worth, Dailey became the office boy for Ernest L. Stephens who was white a practicing physician and professor of materia medica in the medical department of ...

Article

William K. Beatty

surgeon, was born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, the son of Tony Hanna Dailey, a bartender, and Missouri Johnson, a teacher. His parents were then living in Fort Worth, Texas; Mrs. Dailey had returned to her mother's home to give birth. The Daileys visited Chicago, Illinois, several times, and Grant (as he preferred to be called) had some of his early schooling there. He was also educated in Donaldsonville, in the preparatory academy at Straight College (later Dillard University) in New Orleans, and at the Fort Worth High School. Brought up by his mother (the couple separated after a few years) in an atmosphere of books and music, Grant became a piano player.

As a student in Fort Worth, Dailey became the office assistant for Ernest L. Stephens, a white physician and professor of materia medica in the medical department of Fort Worth University. Impressed by Dailey s ...

Article

Joann Buckley and W. Douglas Fisher

National Guard Brigadier General, regimental surgeon, and US Army Captain,was one of seven children born to Levi and Rebecca Gill Dawson in Athens, Georgia.

Dawson's father was a barber and his mother a seamstress, hardworking people who believed in the value of education. Julian and his siblings attended the local public school. He was not the only child to star in his chosen field. His brother William graduated from Fisk University in Nashville and then law school at Northwestern University. William Dawson practiced law in Chicago before ultimately serving in the US House of Representatives from 1943 until his death in 1970.

After his own graduation from Fisk about 1910, Julian graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1914. He then entered general practice in Illinois at Jacksonville and then Galesburg.

Dawson joined the Medical Officers Reserve Corps, US Army, in 1916 and ...

Article

Robert C. Hayden

physician, was born in New York City, the son of George DeGrasse, a prosperous landowner, and Maria Van Surly. After obtaining his early education in both public and private schools in New York City, he entered Oneida Institute in Whitesboro (near Utica), New York in 1840. Oneida was one of the first colleges to admit African Americans, nurturing a strong antislavery stance. In addition to welcoming black students to its campus, the institute invited abolitionists as lecturers and provided both a manual arts and an academic program.

In 1843 DeGrasse attended Aubuk College in Paris, France. Returning to New York City in 1845, he started medical training through an apprenticeship with Dr. Samuel R. Childs. After two years of clinical work and study under Childs, DeGrasse was admitted into the medical studies program at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1847 Finishing his ...

Article

Elizabeth D. Schafer

physician, was born in Camden, South Carolina, the son of Eugene Heriot Dibble and Sally Lee. He graduated from Atlanta University in 1915 and earned his medical degree at Howard University Medical College four years later. After a one-year internship at the Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, D.C., Dibble accepted a surgical residency at the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama.

At that time, medical care for southern blacks was limited and often inferior. Dibble realized the urgent need for more black physicians to provide adequate health care. As assistant medical director of the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital, he helped organize the first postgraduate course in surgery for southern black physicians.

By 1923 Dibble had become the chief of the surgical section of the newly established Veterans Administration hospital in Tuskegee The large number of black World War I veterans created an acute medical demand and ...

Article

Spencie Love

Born in Washington, D.C., Charles Drew graduated from McGill University Medical School in Montreal in 1933, ranking second in a class of 137. During a two-year fellowship at Columbia University's medical school (1938–1940), he did research on blood banking, setting up Presbyterian Hospital's first blood bank, and became the first African American to receive the doctor of science degree. Drew served as medical director of the Blood for Britain Project in 1940 and also of a 1941 American Red Cross pilot project involving the mass production of dried plasma. Drew's work proved pivotal to the success of the Red Cross's blood-collection program, a major life-saving agent during World War II. In 1941 Drew became chairman of Howard University's department of surgery and chief surgeon at Freedmen's Hospital, where he worked tirelessly to build Howard's surgical residency program. Between 1941 and 1950 he trained more than half ...

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Aaron Myers

Charles Richard Drew became interested in studying blood as a student at McGill University in Montréal, Québec, Canada, during the late 1920s and early 1930s. At that time, medical science had not yet determined how to preserve blood, a dilemma that became Drew's mission. Later, while interning at Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York, and pursuing a doctorate at Columbia University, Drew discovered that blood plasma, the liquid portion of the blood without cells, can be preserved for long periods of time, unlike whole blood, which deteriorates after a few days in storage. He also found that blood plasma can be substituted for whole blood in transfusions.

In the late 1930s Drew set up an experimental blood bank at Presbyterian Hospital and wrote a thesis entitled “Banked Blood: A Study in Blood Preservation,” which earned him a doctor of science in medicine from Columbia University in 1940 ...