During the influenza pandemic, the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service was Rupert Blue. A southerner, Blue was born in 1868 and grew up in South Carolina.
In 1892, he received his medical degree from the University of Maryland and entered the Public Health Service. Blue’s early years in the service were spent performing medical inspections of immigrants to ensure that epidemic diseases were not imported into the United States. When bubonic plague struck San Francisco in 1902 and then again in 1907, Blue oversaw rat eradication and urban sanitation programs there. A skilled diplomat, Blue worked with state and local officials to sponsor public education programs. These campaigns proved to be highly successful and they ultimately allowed federal authorities to avoid imposing a quarantine on the city and state. More>>
Joseph Goldberger arrived in the United States in 1883 as a nine year old immigrant from Austria-Hungary. In 1895, he earned his medical degree from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City.
After several years struggling to maintain a private practice, Goldberger entered the Public Health Service in 1899. In an ironic twist of fate, Goldberger’s early years in the Service were spent inspecting immigrants and dealing with issues relating to quarantine. More>>
Wade Hampton Frost
Wade Hampton Frost is often considered to be the father of modern epidemiology.
Born in 1880, Frost earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1903. Two years later, Frost was commissioned as a medical officer in the Public Health Service. He served first in Baltimore and then in New Orleans where he helped combat the nation’s last yellow fever epidemic. In 1908, Frost was assigned to the Hygienic Laboratory (the Laboratory ultimately became the National Institutes of Health). There, Frost participated in field investigations of typhoid and polio epidemics. With the outbreak of World War I, Frost was assigned to the Red Cross. More>>
Leslie Lumsden was one of the nation’s most outstanding leaders in the development of rural sanitation.
A native of Virginia, Lumsden was born on June 14, 1875. In 1894, Lumsden received his medical degree from the University of Virginia. Between 1894-1895, Lumsden did post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins University. In 1898, he entered the Public Health Service. More>>
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born in 1856. He graduated from Princeton University in 1879 and later went on to earn a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He served as a professor at Princeton University before going on to serve as the president of Princeton and then the governor of New Jersey.
In 1912, Wilson was elected president of the United States. While in office, Wilson sponsored legislation ranging from the Child Labor Reform Act to the Federal Reserve Act of 1912 which set a framework for regulating banks. More>>
Pandemic Influenza Storybook
These first-person and family accounts provide an intimate, personal view of the 1918 and 1957 pandemics that goes beyond the staggering statistics associated with those events. More>>