American medical researcher and virologist Dr. Jonas Salk announced his discovery of a new vaccine that could cure the life-threatening disease of polio on this day in 1953. There were 58,000 cases of polio reported in the United States in 1952, taking the lives of more of than 3,000 Americans. A graduate of the New York University School of Medicine, Salk was granted a fellowship at the University of Michigan after earning his medical degree. Studying flu viruses, Salk was one of many scientists around the world that were in a frantic race to find a way to prevent the disease. Nearly seven decades later, Salk’s vaccine has nearly eradicated the disease from the planet.
“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” —
Dr. Jonas Salk