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October 12, 1963


JAMA. 1963;186(2):147-149. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710020067022

The two Americans who approached the meridian in bacteriology and microbiology in the last quarter of the 19th century were William H. Welch, of Johns Hopkins University, and Theobald Smith, one-time professor at Harvard Medical School. Welch, warm of heart and quickly responsive, was an inspiration for young scientists; Smith, although impersonal and critical, was even more an investigator to be emulated. Theobald Smith was born in Albany, N.Y., in 1859, five years after his parents had immigrated from Germany. His father conducted a small tailoring shop in Albany; Theobald attended the Albany public schools. This was followed by an arts course at Cornell University, with financial support from a state scholarship won in competition. Biology and mathematics were his fields of concentration. The MD degree was received after two years of study at Albany Medical School, interrupted by a semester in the biological laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Although

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