Jonas Salk

Scientist / Biologist

Born: 28 October 1914
Died: 23 June 1995
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: Developer of the polio vaccine
Jonas Salk became a medical hero in 1955 for developing a vaccine that helped conquer polio. Salk grew up in New York City and earned a medical degree in 1939 from New York University. He then worked at the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh, studying influenza and, during World War II, working on a flu vaccine for the U.S. Army. He began work on the problem of polio (at the time known as "infantile paralysis") in 1947, thanks in large part to the work of a Harvard group led by John Enders. (Enders had developed a way to grow the polio virus, which in turn allowed expanded research.) Many microbiologists were working on a vaccine, but Salk got there first. He began a program of experimental vaccines on humans in 1952, and by 1954 the vaccine was being prepared in quantity. The story became public in 1955 and Salk became a celebrity because of the success of the vaccine. A tireless champion of public health education and vaccinations, Salk became the director of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in 1963, a post he held the rest of his career. He also authored several books, including Man Unfolding (1972), The Survival of the Wisest (1973) and Anatomy of Reality (1983).

Copyright © 1998-2014 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.

More on Jonas Salk from Fact Monster:

  • October 28 Birthdays: Jonas Salk - October 28 birthdays: Jonas Salk, Joaquin Phoenix, Julia Roberts, Brad Paisley, Dennis Franz, Edith Head, Eliphalet Remington, Auguste Escoffier, Gilbert H. Grosvenor, Evelyn Waugh, Bill Gates
  • Jonas Salk - Biography of Jonas Salk, Developer of the polio vaccine
  • This Day in History: June 23 - June 23 1868 Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called a ...
  • This Day in History: April 12 - April 12 1861 The Civil War began when Fort Sumter was attacked. 1862 James J. Andrews led the ...
  • New York - Information on New York — economy, government, culture, state map and flag, major cities, points of interest, famous residents, state motto, symbols, nicknames, and other trivia.
Warning: fsockopen(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /site/html/include/amazon.php on line 71 Warning: fsockopen(): unable to connect to :3128 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known) in /site/html/include/amazon.php on line 71

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.