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October 7, 1968


JAMA. 1968;206(2):368-369. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150020084021

Antonio Caetano de Abreu Freire was born at Avanca in northwestern Portugal; however, during his student days as a liberal pamphleteer he added the nom de plume Egas Moniz, an accolade to Egas Moniz de Ribadouro, the hero of the Portuguese resistance to the Moors in the 12th century.1 In 1891, Moniz entered the old University of Coimbra, Portugal, and for more than 20 years lived in the cloisters first as a student and later as a teacher. He completed his medical training in 1899 but not before he had overcome indecision between a career in mathematics vs medicine. His inaugural thesis covered the structural changes in diphtheria. Following graduation, Moniz remained in Coimbra and, in 1902, received a faculty appointment in medicine (neurology) upon submission of a thesis on the physiological pathology of sexual activity. By then he had recognized the need for professional concentration and chose neurology