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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 ...

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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 ...

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Ernest Cole

Gambian writer and medical practitioner, was born Lenrie Wilfred Leopold Peters in Bathurst, now Banjul, on 1 September 1932 He was the third child and first son of Lenrie and Kezia Peters His two older siblings are Bijou Peters Bidwell and Florence Peters Mahoney Lenrie was followed by two other children his younger sister Ruby Peters and brother Dennis Alaba Peters The family history of the Peterses goes beyond the borders of the Gambia As descendants of liberated Africans he could trace his family history to Sierra Leone and the Yoruba culture in Nigeria In his unpublished eulogy for Lenrie Peters Tijan M Sallah traces the Peterses ancestry to the Maxwells who were the first African graduates of Oxford University He adds that T he Maxwells were by all tests Afro Victorians and therefore among Africa s early westernized elites The elder Maxwell was a Sierra Leonean of Yoruba ...

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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 ...

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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 ...