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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 they moved to the city of Norfolk, Virginia.

The couple emigrated from there to Liberia in 1852, to 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 had a keen interest 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 the majority 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, which was attended by such notable scientists and intellectuals as anthropologist Franz Boaz, 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 faculty at Boston University School of Medicine. He served as a professor until 1933. He continued in private practice as a physician, neurologist, and psychiatrist for many years before his death 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.  For most of his life, Fuller lived in nearby Framingham, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children. 

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