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Thu, 08.01.1872

Solomon Fuller, Physician born

Solomon C. Fuller

*Solomon Fuller was born on this date in 1872.  He was a Black Liberian physician, psychiatrist, pathologist, and professor. 

Solomon Carter Fuller was born in Monrovia, Liberia, to Americo-Liberian parents. His father Solomon had become a coffee planter in Liberia and an official in its government. His mother, Anna Ursula James, was the daughter of physicians and medical missionaries. His paternal grandparents, John Lewis Fuller and his wife, had been slaves in Virginia. John Fuller bought his and his enslaved wife's freedom and moved to Norfolk, Virginia.

The couple emigrated to Liberia in 1852, a colony set up in West Africa by the American Colonization Society beginning earlier in the century. They helped establish the nation developed by African Americans and liberated African slaves. His mother set up a school to teach her son Solomon and area children. Fuller also studied at the College Preparatory School of Monrovia.  He was keenly interested in medicine since his maternal grandparents were medical missionaries in Liberia. Fuller moved to the United States to study at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, graduating in 1893.

Later, he attended Long Island College Medical School.  He completed his MD degree in 1897 from Boston University School of Medicine. It was a homeopathic institution open to students of all races and genders. He pursued further research at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Munich, Germany, studying under Emil Kraepelin and Alois Alzheimer.  Fuller spent most of his career practicing at Westborough State Hospital in Westborough, Massachusetts. While there, he performed ground-breaking research on the physical changes that take place in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

In 1909, Fuller was a speaker at the Clark University Conference organized by G. Stanley Hall, attended by notable scientists and intellectuals such as anthropologist Franz Boaz and psychiatrists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.  Soon after, he married noted sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick.  In 1919, Fuller left Westborough State Hospital to join the Boston University School of Medicine faculty. He served as a professor until 1933. He continued in private practice as a physician, neurologist, and psychiatrist for many years before he died in 1953.  

When the Veterans Administration opened the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center after World War I with an entirely Black staff, Fuller was instrumental in recruiting and training black psychiatrists for key positions.  Solomon Fuller died on January 16, 1953.  Fuller lived in nearby Framingham, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children for most of his life. 

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