04 Aug Albert Sabin
Recipient of 46 honorary doctorates from countries all around the world for saving the lives of countless children
Had President Franklin Delano Roosevelt not come down with polio, who knows if the easily administered vaccine for the terrible disease would have been developed when it was, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.
President Roosevelt, who was diagnosed with polio in the 1940s, helped the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis raise the funding to create several vaccines.
Dr. Albert Sabin, who was born in 1906 in Poland and emigrated to the United States in the 1920s, took up the challenge of putting that money to good use. Together with a team of scientists, he developed an oral vaccine containing attenuated strains of the polio virus. The process involved an act of extraordinary courage: before testing it on other people, Sabin and his colleagues took the vaccine themselves. It became widely used all over the world in the 1960s.
Sabin’s accomplishments earned him extraordinary fame and numerous prizes, including 46 honorary doctorates from the world’s top universities. He refused to patent the vaccine, arguing that his invention was a gift to the world’s children.