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May 1961

13 Famous Patients

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):785-786. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050151018

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If history is the biography of famous men, no biography is complete without its medical elements. While it is oversimplifying things to say that the fate of a nation might hinge on its leader's dyspepsia or common cold, no one can deny that physical and mental well-being of those in authority and power has an appreciable, and sometimes a critical influence on the turn of events insofar as individuals control such turns. If Napoleon's dyspepsia made his reactions sluggish at Waterloo, think of the havoc which waves of dysmenorrhea might have provoked among the Amazon warriors of old. Woodrow Wilson's stroke and impending mental oblivion left the nation more or less without a leader and gravely uninformed during a critical epoch in our history. In more recent times the various illnesses of President Eisenhower have been displayed in vivid terms to the newspaper reader who was alerted as to such

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