Jonas Salk

Medical Researcher and Virologist Jonas Salk

Profession: Medical Researcher and Virologist

United States of America

Biography: Discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine.

When the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered the most frightening public health problem of the post-war United States.

He was uninterested in personal profit and when asked in a televised interview who owned the patent to the vaccine, Salk replied: "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"

Born: October 28, 1914
Birthplace: NYC, New York, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: June 23, 1995 (aged 80)
Cause of Death: Heart failure

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1939-06-09 Medical researcher Jonas Salk (24) weds social worker Donna Lindsay
  • 1970-06-29 Medical researcher Jonas Salk (55) weds painter and author Fran├žoise Gilot (48) in Paris

Historical Events

  • 1953-03-26 Dr. Jonas Salk announces that he has successfully tested a vaccine to prevent polio, clinical trials began the next year
  • 1954-02-23 1st mass inoculation against polio with the Jonas Salk vaccine takes place at Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1954-04-26 Mass trials of Jonas Salk's anti-polio vaccine begin; the first shot is delivered in Fairfax County, Virginia; more than 443,000 children receive shots over three months
  • 1955-04-12 Polio vaccine tested by Jonas Salk announced to be 'safe and effective' and is given full approval by the US Food and Drug Administration
  • 1956-10-06 Scientist Albert Sabin announces that his oral polio vaccine is ready for testing; it would soon supplant Jonas Salk's vaccine in many parts of the world

Biographies and Sources

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