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Tue, 08.25.1896

Alfred Waddell, Physician born

Alfred Waddell

*Alfred Waddell was born on this date in 1896.  He was a Black physician and activist. 

From Trinidad and Tobago, Alfred Ernest Waddell was the son of Son of Joseph Waddell, a headmaster, and Claudine Angus Waddell.  He had five brothers and sisters, Aucher Vere Waddell; Jessie Ethel Victoria Young; Charlotte Henrietta Habib; Josephine Editha Fuentes, and Joseph Waddell.  He also had a half-sister, Julia Waddell Inniss.

In 1923, Waddell set out for New York with his young bride Amelia Maria, dreaming of becoming a doctor. The couple worked menial jobs to support themselves in New York. In 1928 Alfred left his family to study medicine at Dalhousie's medical school in Halifax. Amelia Maria finally joined him with their four children, Winifred (Winnie), Alfred (Fred), Joseph (Joey or Joe), and Sylvia. 

After graduating in 1933, he faced the suspicions of Halifax's white and Black communities, who regarded him as an "outsider." His practice took off slowly. Members of the Chinese community were among his first clients. Despite his hardships, Waddell treated many isolated people without access to medical care. Waddell brought medicine to outlying Black communities, spoke out against injustice, and even accommodated black musicians like Cab Calloway when he could not get a hotel room.

A champion of social equality, Dr. Waddell raised his children with ideas of fairness and earned the respect of an entire city.  Prizefighter Ronda Rousey is his great-granddaughter.  Alfred Waddell died on March 20, 1953, at the Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. 

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