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January 5, 1970

Philippe Ricord (1800-1889) Syphilographer

JAMA. 1970;211(1):115-116. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170010069015

Philippe Ricord, illustrious, whimsical, and anecdotal student of clinical syphilis, was born in Baltimore to Gallic parents, who escaped arrest by coming to America as political refugees near the end of the French Revolution.1 Philippe attended the Economical School in New York established for French refugee children. Upon graduation, he turned for support to odd jobs, and subsequently traveled with his natural-scientist brother, gathering botanical and zoological specimens. Upon direction of Baron Hyde de Neuville, the recently appointed Ambassador to the United States, the Ricord brothers collected specimens for the Natural Science Museum of France and helped transport them to Paris. By then Philippe was 20 and entered the Academy of Val-de-Grâce to begin study under the Faculty of Medicine. This selection was not surprising; his grandfather was a physician in Marseilles. Philippe assisted Dupuytren at Hôtel Dieu and Lisfranc in the Hôpital de la Pit[ill]é. Upon submission of