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December 1962

Almroth Wright, Provocative Doctor and Thinker

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(6):912. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620240094015

Almroth Wright, a giant of a figure in the early days of bacteriology, first demonstrated on a mass scale the use of vaccination against typhoid fever. Later in life he was somewhat passed by and neglected when the spectacular discoveries of the sulfa drugs and penicillin threw into temporary eclipse many of his sound ideas of basic mechanisms of infection and immunity. Wright, a man of deeply held convictions, a powerful personality, a rugged and sometimes ruthless fighter, was a man who easily dominated a whole epoch of British medicine in the field of infectious disease and bacteriology. Not long ago I picked up from a secondhand catalog Colebrook's delightful and searching biography of this remarkable man. Wright operated effectively not only in the written but in the spoken word, for as he himself related, "I make it a principle never to write anything that won't give offense to somebody."

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