D.A. Henderson, a giant in public health and in life who led WHO’s successful global smallpox eradication against immense odds, passed away Friday. He was 87.
Henderson, who served as dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health from 1977 to 1990, is best remembered for smallpox eradication. Even into the 1960s, smallpox was killing millions of people. Marshalling slim international resources, Henderson cajoled and persuaded the engagement of governments and health workers in vaccination campaigns around the world. It was an astonishing achievement when WHO certified the disease eradicated in 1980.
“Think about it: He did it in a time when there were no fax machines, when there were no computers, when there were no cellphones. They did it with pencil and paper and just management techniques,"Bloomberg School Dean Michael J. Klag told the Baltimore Sun.
We’ll be following up with more coverage of Henderson, one of “few people in the field of global public health so well-known that you merely need to utter two initials to evoke instant recognition,” as Helen Branswell writes in STAT. https://www.statnews.com/2016/08/21/d-a-henderson-appreciation-giant-public-health/ For now, here are some other remembrances of D.A.:
- D.A. Henderson, ‘disease detective’ who eradicated smallpox, dies at 87 – The Washington Post
- Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Who Helped End Smallpox, Dies at 87 - The New York Times
- D.A. Henderson, Dean Emeritus, 1928-2016 – Dean Michael J. Klag, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- 35 Who Made a Difference: D. A. Henderson – Smithsonian Magazine