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Salk, Jonas

On April 12, 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk, a slightly built, forty-year-old research professor from the University of Pittsburgh, became a hero. On that morning, before one hundred and fifty news reporters and five hundred scientists and physicians crammed into an auditorium at the University of Michigan, “amid fanfare and drama far more typical of a Hollywood premiere than a medical meeting,” according to an account in The New York Times, it was announced that Dr. Salk had developed a vaccine that had been found effective in preventing poliomyelitis.

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