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William Crawford Gorgas and the Panama Canal

Bullet 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.

Bullet 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.

Bullet 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.

Bullet Launched program to battle yellow fever—drained breeding places, applied oil to surfaces of pools, and screened yellow fever patients; in three months yellow fever disappeared.

Bullet Chief sanitation officer in Panama Canal Zone during building of Panama Canal, l904-l9l4.

Bullet deLesseps Company unable to build canal earlier because workers died of yellow fever or malaria.

Bullet 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.

BulletU.S. Surgeon General, 1915-1918.

BulletDied in 1920 in London of a stroke, en route to consult on diseases in South Africa.