Topic | Dr. Harold Dadford West

Dr. Harold Dadford West


Dr. Harold Dadford West was born in Flemington, New Jersey on July 16, 1904. He received his bachelors, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois in 1925, 1930, and 1937. His research in biochemistry was published in many scientific periodicals. He was awarded an honorary LL.D in 1955 from Morris Brown College in 1955 after serving as the head of the Department of Science and a professor of chemistry. After leaving Morris Brown, Dr. West took a position of Meharry Medical College as an associate professor of physiological chemistry. After working his way through the ranks of professor and department chair, he became the first African American president of Meharry in 1952. During his time as president, the Meharry endowment almost doubled to $7 million. Dr. West encouraged research at the institute and was able to get increased funding for that as well. For all of his hard work and dedication, Dr. West was made the first honorary member of the National Medical Association in 1964. A terminal illness would take his life in 1974 at the age of 69. However, his legacy has far exceeded his lifetime and will continue to shed light on impressions and history made by African Americans in medicine.


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