Jonas Edward Salk

This passage discusses a pioneer in the field of medicine, Dr. Jonas Edward Salk.

Lexile Level: 1030L

Categories: People & Places Sports & Health Science & Technology


Medical pioneer, Jonas Salk, had no intentions of becoming a doctor, but as he grew older and entered college, he changed his mind. As a child and adult, Jonas took delight in thinking up ways to make life better for humankind. Jonas grew up in New York City where he lived with his parents, Dora and Daniel Salk, poor Russian and Jewish immigrants. Jonas received his medical degree in June, 1939. He worked as a doctor in New York City and later led the Virus Research Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. His research on the polio virus led to one of the world's greatest medical findings in history, the polio vaccine. On April 12, 1955, Jonas announced that he had developed a safe and effective polio vaccine. Today, the polio virus has disappeared except for a few rare cases. When asked why he did not seek wealth and fame, Dr. Salk replied, "Who owns my polio vaccine? The people! Could you patent the sun?"


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