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Born near Mobile in 1854. Educated at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, and at New York University, where he became an M.D. (Bellvue Hospital). Became a world-renowned expert on tropical diseases.
Became a doctor in the United States army in 1880, and was stationed at many army posts across the country. While stationed in Brownsville, Texas, he contracted a mild case of yellow fever, and thereafter was immune to the disease.
Chief sanitation officer in Havana, Cuba, during Spanish-American War and beyond (l898-l902) under Dr. Walter Reed, who discovered that mosquitoes carried yellow fever.
Launched program to battle yellow feverdrained breeding places, applied oil to surfaces of pools, and screened yellow fever patients; in three months yellow fever disappeared.
Chief sanitation officer in Panama Canal Zone during building of Panama Canal, l904-l9l4.
deLesseps Company unable to build canal earlier because workers died of yellow fever or malaria.
Epidemics were raging in l904, but in less than a year the canal zone was free of disease, enabling the United States to complete the canal with a minimum loss of life.
U.S. Surgeon General, 1915-1918.
Died in 1920 in London of a stroke, en route to consult on diseases in South Africa.