Interesting facts about jonas salk

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interesting facts about jonas salk

Jonas Salk: A Life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs

When a waiting world learned on April 12, 1955, that Jonas Salk had successfully created a vaccine to prevent poliomyelitis, he became a hero overnight. Born in a New York tenement, humble in manner, Salk had all the makings of a twentieth-century icon--a knight in a white coat. In the wake of his achievement, he received a staggering number of awards and honors; for years his name ranked with Gandhi and Churchill on lists of the most revered people. And yet the one group whose adulation he craved--the scientific community--remained ominously silent. The worst tragedy that could have befallen me was my success, Salk later said. I knew right away that I was through--cast out.

In the first complete biography of Jonas Salk, Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs unravels Salks story to reveal an unconventional scientist and a misunderstood and vulnerable man. Despite his incredible success in developing the polio vaccine, Salk was ostracized by his fellow scientists, who accused him of failing to give proper credit to other researchers and scorned his taste for media attention. Even before success catapulted him into the limelight, Salk was an inscrutable man disliked by many of his peers. Driven by an intense desire to aid mankind, he was initially oblivious and eventually resigned to the personal cost--as well as the costs suffered by his family and friends. And yet Salk remained, in the eyes of the public, an adored hero.

Based on hundreds of personal interviews and unprecedented access to Salks sealed archives, Jacobs biography offers the most complete picture of this complicated figure. Salks story has never been fully told; until now, his role in preventing polio has overshadowed his part in co-developing the first influenza vaccine, his effort to meld the sciences and humanities in the magnificent Salk Institute, and his pioneering work on AIDS. A vivid and intimate portrait, this will become the standard work on the remarkable life of Jonas Salk.
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Jonas Salk's Legacy

Biography Newsletter

Poliomyelitis, an infectious, potentially fatal disease that permanently paralyzed both children and adults, was once a serious problem in the United States. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was paralyzed due to polio, and almost 60, Americans were infected with polio in The disease inspired fear because there was no obvious way to prevent it, and it struck thousands of children. In , though, virologist Jonas Salk became a worldwide hero when he developed the first effective polio vaccine. Here are a dozen facts about Salk, the Father of Biophilosophy. In a interview with the Academy of Achievement, Salk revealed that he was not interested in science as a child. He entered college as a pre-law student, hoping to be elected to Congress one day.

Oshinsky notes that polio inspired such fear because it struck without warning and researchers were unsure of how it spread from person to person. In the years following World War II, polls found the only thing Americans feared more than polio was nuclear war. A year after his nomination as a Democratic vice presidential candidate, rising political star Franklin D. Roosevelt contracted polio while vacationing at his summer home on Campobello Island in The disease left the legs of the year-old future president permanently paralyzed.

Fact 2 While studying at the New York University School of Medicine, he stood out from his class mates not just because of his academic expertise, but because he chose medical research in place of studying to be a practicing physician.
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30 Interesting And Awesome Facts About Jonas Salk

Charlotte D. Jacobs, M. As I began my research for his biography, attempting to understand the man behind the image, I was surprised by what I found. While the public rushed to honor him, rebuke from the scientific community cast a shadow over his achievement. Why the aspersions? This young researcher, not yet a member of the scientific brotherhood, had made and initially tested the polio vaccine in secret while challenging one of their firmly held principles—that only a vaccine made of live virus could impart lifelong immunity. They accused Salk of failing to give proper credit to other researchers.


  1. Dunsjonslinkwhitb says:

    of children. In , though, virologist Jonas Salk became a worldwide hero when he developed the first effective polio vaccine. Here are a dozen facts about Salk, the Father of Biophilosophy. .. a dinner party. But where's the fun in that?.

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