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Fri, 11.03.1933

Louis Sullivan, Physician, and Educator born

Louis Sullivan

*On this date in 1933, Louis Sullivan was born.  He is a Black health policy leader, minority health advocate, author, physician, and educator. 

Louis Wade Sullivan was born in Atlanta, Georgia, although his parents moved to rural Blakely, Georgia, shortly after he was born. His father was a mortician, and his mother was a teacher. His parents sent him and his brother Walter to live with friends in Atlanta during the school year, where there were better public schools. By age 5, with inspiration from his family physician and encouragement from teachers and parents, Sullivan had decided to pursue a healthcare career.  

In 1950, Sullivan graduated from Atlanta's Booker T. Washington high school as a Class Salutatorian. He then enrolled at Morehouse College and graduated magna cum laude in 1954 before earning his medical degree cum laude from Boston University School of Medicine in 1958.  He married E. Ginger Williamson, an attorney, on September 30, 1955. They have three children. His postgraduate training included internship and residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center (1958–60), a clinical fellowship in pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital (1960–61), and a research fellowship in hematology at the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory of Harvard Medical School, Boston City Hospital (1961–63).  

He is certified in internal medicine and hematology, holds a mastership from the American College of Physicians, and is a Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha academic honor society member.  Sullivan was an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School from 1963–64 and an assistant professor at Seton Hall College of Medicine from 1964–66. In 1966, he became co-director of hematology at Boston University Medical Center and, a year later, founded the Boston University Hematology Service at Boston City Hospital. Sullivan remained at Boston University until 1975, holding positions as assistant professor of medicine, associate professor of medicine, and professor of medicine.

In his teaching, he specialized in "sickle-cell anemia and blood disorders related to vitamin deficiencies."  He served as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary during President George H. W. Bush's Administration. He was the Founding Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine.   He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.  In 2000, he received an honorary degree in Doctor of Letters from Oglethorpe University.  On July 1, 2002, he retired and was appointed president emeritus.  

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