Disease in History

Historical Events

  • 1747-01-31 The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1929-01-06 Mother Teresa arrives in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India's poorest and diseased people.

Catholic Missionary Mother Teresa
Catholic Missionary
Mother Teresa
  • 1934-01-01 Nazi Germany passes the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring".
  • 1956-05-01 A doctor in Japan reports an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system", marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.
  • 1981-06-05 AIDS Epidemic officially begins when US Centers for Disease Control reports on pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles
  • 1981-06-18 Vaccine to prevent hoof & mouth disease announced
  • 1981-08-28 National Centers for Disease Control announces high incidence of Pneumocystis & Kaposi's sarcoma in gay men
  • 1984-04-21 Centers for Disease Cont says virus discovered in France causes AIDS
  • 1990-04-24 Gruinard Island, Scotland, is officially declared free of the anthrax disease after 48 years of quarantine.
  • 1995-01-30 Workers from the National Institutes of Health announce the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.
  • 1996-03-20 UK admits humans can catch CJD (Mad Cow Disease)
  • 1996-03-25 The European Union's Veterinarian Committee bans the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of "mad cow disease" (BSE).
  • 2002-01-14 UK declared free of foot-and-mouth cattle disease
  • 2005-03-04 United Nations warns that about 90 million Africans could be infected by HIV in the future without further action against the spread of the disease.
  • 2010-01-04 The Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed HIV infection from its list of communicable diseases of public health significance.
  • 2012-04-26 Indonesia suspends imports of American beef after a confirmed case of mad cow disease in California
  • 2015-10-28 World Heath Organization ranks Tuberculosis alongside HIV as world's deadliest infectious diseases, killing 1.2 million (2014)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016-09-21 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledge $3 billion to medical research to "cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century"

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder
Mark Zuckerberg

Famous Birthdays

  • 1756-09-07 Willem Bilderdijk, Dutch poet/literature (Disease of Scientists)
  • 1789-09-28 Richard Bright, England, physician (Bright's Disease/nephritis)
  • 1807-10-22 Magnus Huss, Swedish Physician who coined the word alcoholism and was the first to define it as a disease
  • 1814-01-11 James Paget, English surgeon (disease of Paget)
  • 1822-02-22 Adolf Kuszmaul, German physician (stomach pump, Kuszmaul disease)
  • 1836-07-20 Thomas C Allbutt, English physiologist (Diseases of the Heart)
  • 1901-02-20 René Jules Dubos, France, US microbiologist/author (Health & Disease)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1907-11-11 Joseph G. Hamilton, American physician who was a pioneer of using radioactive isotopes in disease treatment and diagnosis, born in Waverley, Massachusetts (d. 1957)

  • 1922-02-22 William J. Baumol, American economist (Baumol’s cost disease), born in South Bronx, New York (d. 2017)

Famous Deaths


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1554-09-22 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, Spanish explorer and conquistador who led 1st European expedition to discover the Grand Canyon, dies of disease at about 44

Explorer and Conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
Explorer and Conquistador
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
  • 1834-12-23 Thomas Malthus, British economist and demographer (Law of Malthus), dies of heart disease at 68
  • 1858-12-16 Richard Bright, British Dr (Bright's disease/nephritis), dies at 69
  • 1860-06-29 Thomas Addison, English physician (A-Biermer Disease), dies at 67
  • 1874-01-14 Johann Philipp Reis, German Physicist and Inventor, dies of lung disease at 40
  • 1884-02-14 Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, 1st wife of Theodore Roosevelt, dies of Bright's disease at 22
  • 1890-04-22 Magnus Huss, Swedish Physician who coined the word alcoholism and was the first to define it as a disease, dies at 82
  • 1893-04-27 John Ballance, 14th Premier of New Zealand and the founder of the Liberal Party, intestinal disease after a major surgical operation at 54
  • 1899-12-30 James Paget, English surgeon (disease of Paget), dies at 85
  • 1913-07-31 John Milne, British geologist (developed the first modern seismograph), dies of Bright's disease at 62
  • 1914-08-06 Ellen Axson Wilson, US 1st Lady (1913-14), dies during Woodrow Wilson's 1st term of Bright's Disease at 54
  • 1924-03-07 Pat Moran, manager (Cincinnati Reds), dies of Bright's Disease
  • 1927-10-22 Ross Youngs, Hall of Fame baseballer, dies of Bright's disease at 30
  • 1945-07-05 John Curtin, Victoria, 14th Prime Minister of Australia (Labor: 1941-45), dies of heart disease at 60

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1948-07-15 John J. Pershing [Blackjack], American general and WWI commander, dies of coronary artery disease at 87

US WW1 Commander John J. Pershing
US WW1 Commander
John J. Pershing

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1957-02-18 Joseph G. Hamilton, American Physician who was a pioneer of using radioactive isotopes in disease treatment and diagnosis, dies of radiation induced leukemia at 49

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1965-12-05 Joseph Erlanger, American physiologist (shock therapy-Nobel 1944), dies of heart disease at 91

Physiologist Joseph Erlanger
Physiologist
Joseph Erlanger

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1966-01-09 Albert Stevens, an American patient in secret medical trials who survived the highest known radiation dose in a human, dies of heart disease at 79

Human Medical Subject Albert Stevens
Human Medical Subject
Albert Stevens
  • 1970-07-31 Booker Ervin [Booker Telleferro Ervin II], American saxophonist (Charles Mingus), dies of kidney disease at 39

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1982-08-12 Henry Fonda, actor (On Golden Pond), dies of heart disease at 77

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1983-04-30 George Balanchine, Russian-American ballet composer and choreographer who founded the New York City Ballet, dies from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease at 79

Ballet Choreographer George Balanchine
Ballet Choreographer
George Balanchine
  • 1984-11-07 George Matthews, actor (Chick-Glynis), dies at 73 of heart disease
  • 1990-07-17 Bernard Cowan, TV announcer, dies of kidney disease at 68
  • 1990-10-15 Delphine Seyrig, dies of lung disease at 58

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1991-01-30 John Bardeen, American physicist, electrical engineer and co-inventor of the transistor (Nobel 1956, 1972), dies of heart disease at 82

Physicist and Electrical Engineer John Bardeen
Physicist and Electrical Engineer
John Bardeen
  • 1991-10-17 Tennessee Ernie Ford, American country singer (Sixteen Tons), dies of liver disease at 72
  • 1993-10-07 Cyril Cusack, actor (Fahrenheit 451), dies of neuron disease at 82
  • 1998-04-23 James Earl Ray, American assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., dies while still under detention of complications related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C at 70

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2002-10-25 Richard Harris, Irish actor (A Man Called Horse, This Sporting Life) and singer (MacArthur Park) dies of Hodgkin's disease at 72

Actor and Singer Richard Harris
Actor and Singer
Richard Harris
  • 2002-11-05 Billy Guy, American singer (The Coasters) dies of cardiovascular disease at 66

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2003-02-14 Dolly the Sheep, first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell dies young form a progressive lung disease aged 6

  • 2004-06-22 Thomas Gold, Austrian astrophysicist, dies from complications due to heart disease at 84

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2004-10-29 Vaughn Meader, American comedian and musician, dies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 68 (b. 1936)

Comedian and Musician Vaughn Meader
Comedian and Musician
Vaughn Meader

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2007-11-30 Evel Knievel, American motorcycle daredevil (Snake River Canyon), dies of pulmonary disease at 69

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel
Motorcycle Daredevil
Evel Knievel

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2008-07-22 Estelle Getty, American actress ("The Golden Girls"), dies of Lewy body disease at 84

Actress Estelle Getty
Actress
Estelle Getty
  • 2008-12-02 Odetta [Odetta Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, dies of heart disease at 77

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2009-07-17 Walter Cronkite, American broadcast journalist and news anchor (CBS Evening News 1962-81), dies of cerebrovascular disease at 92

Broadcast Journalist Walter Cronkite
Broadcast Journalist
Walter Cronkite
  • 2011-10-31 Liz Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter (Mama Spank, The Game of Triangles), dies of heart and lung disease at 81
  • 2012-03-03 Leonardo Cimino, American actor, dies from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 94
  • 2012-03-27 Warren Stevens, American actor, dies from lung disease at 92
  • 2012-06-11 Ann Rutherford, Canadian actress, dies from heart disease at 94
  • 2012-08-23 Jerry Nelson, American puppeteer, dies from prostate cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 78
  • 2012-10-16 Eddie Yost, American MLB player, dies from cardiovascular disease at 86
  • 2012-12-19 Robert Bork, American legal scholar/jurist, dies from heart disease at 85
  • 2013-03-25 Lou Sleater, American MLB pitcher, dies from lung disease at 86
  • 2013-10-27 Lou Reed, American musician, dies from liver disease at 71
  • 2015-01-10 Robert Stone, American novelist (Dog Soldiers, WUSA), dies from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 77

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2015-02-27 Leonard Nimoy, American actor (Spock-Star Trek, Mission Impossible), dies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 83

  • 2015-06-07 Michael Oliver, British cardiologist (linked cholesterol with coronary artery disease), dies at 89

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2015-11-18 Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby union player and the youngest ever All Black, dies of a heart attack linked to kidney disease at 40

Rugby Union Superstar Jonah Lomu
Rugby Union Superstar
Jonah Lomu
  • 2016-10-09 Aaron Pryor, American welterweight boxing champion, dies of heart disease at 60
  • 2017-01-23 Lee O’Denat, American internet entrepreneur (WorldStarHipHop.com), dies of heart disease at 43
  • 2017-02-06 Joost can der Westhuizen, South African rugby player, dies of motor neurone disease at 45
  • 2017-05-04 William J. Baumol, American economist (Baumol’s cost disease), dies at 95
  • 2017-05-18 Frankie Paul [Paul Blake], Jamaican reggae musician, dies of kidney disease at 51